Dorothy, a one-year-old Jindo mix, is a sweet, friendly, calm young dog who is living life in New York City. But she came close to not living at all. Dorothy was one of many dogs being sold at an unregulated dog meat farm in Hwaseong, South Korea before being recused by the Korean K9 Rescue group. However, the rescue was just the first step on a very long road to health and happiness for this pup.
Life in South Korea was horrific for Dorothy and the other dogs at the farm. They were stuffed into cages, twelve dogs to a cage, living in insufferable conditions while waiting to die a painful, needless death. The sign outside the farm Dorothy was kept at read: “Dogs’ blood for sale: 600 grams for ₩6,000 [2.5 cups for less than $6]."
“We have rescued dogs from meat farms before, but this kind of use for dog meat was something we had never heard of before and it shocked us it even existed,” said Gina Boehler, the founder of Korean K9 Rescue.“And the pictures that we saw were hard to comprehend — how cruel and chilling the conditions they lived in. That part was very challenging emotionally and we felt compelled to save each and every single dog from that blood sausage farm we could.”
Despite the increase in awareness and volunteers' efforts to save as many dogs as possible, it is estimated that almost 2 million dogs are killed each year for the Korean meat market.
Dorothy was nearly one of those dogs. But her time in the cramped, crowded cages at the farm took a severe toll on her health. Korean K9 Rescue noticed her health problems and worked to alleviate her issues right away. Unfortunately, Dorothy had canine distemper, and after a long battle, she defeated the illness. Unfortunately, the distemper caused another condition to develop.
The Korean K9 Rescue stated on their website that Dorothy had developed "myoclonus a chronic condition that causes continuous muscle contractions. Her myoclonus is most pronounced during rest and when she's anxious, and least severe during deep sleep and outdoor walks. Our veterinarian confirmed that the muscle contractions are not physically painful for her, but it is an annoying experience."
Thankfully, hydrotherapy sessions and acupuncture treatments have helped to lessen the impact of the myoclonus, and Dorothy is sleeping for longer periods of time at night.
Jenny Lee, who is currently fostering Dorothy, said that the myoclonus doesn't slow this puppy down at all. “Our veterinarian confirmed that the muscle contractions are not physically painful for her,” Lee stated. “Her myoclonus has never led to any seizures, and it also doesn’t slow her down or affect her ability to be a playful companion. She loves going on walks, meeting other pups and is sweeter than donuts to everyone she meets!”
Lee is very proud of how much Dorothy has grown over the last few weeks. It was intimidating coming from a cramped cage in the country to the bustling world of New York City, but Dorothy has been successful each step of the way.
“I live in an apartment building, so when Dorothy first came she was really afraid to go inside of the elevator,” Lee said. “Any new environment she experienced she was very anxious and cautious — so much that for the first few weeks I would have to hold her in my arms from the hallway, down the elevator and through the lobby to go outside. Now she’s so looking forward to walks outside and is walking for longer and longer each day.”
Her progress means that Dorothy is now looking for the right person to adopt her and give her a forever home. “Three other dogs rescued from the same farm have found homes within the past few months, so we really want Dorothy to find her forever home, too,” said Lee. “Because she has special needs, someone who is patient, calm and wants a very mellow dog would be a perfect match for her. She loves playing and going on walks, but isn’t high-energy or a barker.”
Our paws are crossed that Dorothy has a loving home very soon! Could you be the right owner for Dorothy? Or do you know someone who could be? Share Dorothy's story with them and your friends on Facebook.