Last week, Miyoko Schinner—founder of vegan company Miyoko’s Creamery—traveled from Seoul, South Korea to San Francisco, CA with Koru, a dog who was used to birth puppies who would then be sold for slaughter. The rescue of Koru from the dog meat trade was initiated in 2018 by animal-rights groups In Defense of Animals (IDA) and Jindo Love Rescue (JLR). Schinner was in Seoul for a conference and volunteered to facilitate Koru’s freedom journey to San Francisco where she introduced the dog to her new adoptive family, vegan couple Jade Naughton and Alexx Ironwolf. Koru and her adoptive parents then completed the 600-mile journey by driving from San Francisco to their home in Portland, OR. 

“Alexx and I are so excited to have Koru join our family,” Naughton said. “I am so grateful to my friend who introduced me to Jindo Love Rescue and In Defense of Animals. Everyone involved has been amazing at getting everything arranged for us as smoothly and quickly as possible. Honestly, this has been the best and most wonderful experience I’ve ever had adopting a dog.”

Schinner participated in the rescue to bring awareness to IDA and JLR’s volunteer program available to passengers taking flights from Seoul to airports in the US and Canada, including Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Vancouver (YVR), Toronto (YYZ), and many others. “Dogs might not be the first animals who come to mind when we talk about farmed animals, but they are sadly also victims of people’s desire for meat,” Schinner said. “I hope people look at Koru, and come to understand that she’s just like other unique and individual animals who are exploited and killed by the billions in animal agriculture every year. All animals deserve to live and be loved. I am proud to support In Defense of Animals and Jindo Love Rescue in their life-saving work to rescue hundreds of dogs from becoming dog meat every year.”

Through IDA and JLR’s efforts, Koru’s puppies have also been rescued from the meat trade and the organizations are urging those interested in becoming flight volunteers to take action. “We are so grateful to Miyoko for making Koru’s happily-ever-after come true, and also for raising the profile of flight volunteering for dog meat rescues,” IDA Director of Communications Fleur Dawes said. “Finding flight volunteers is hard enough in regular times, but COVID-19 has made them extra scarce. Without volunteers, we’ve been forced to pay thousands of dollars in cargo fees to get dogs to their loving adopters during the pandemic. These dog meat survivors have been through hell and rescuing them is only possible thanks to our generous supporters.”

Those interested in donating to IDA’s efforts can support the organization at idausa.org/flyhomeSFO.

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