YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — How could a dog so emaciated — and so jittery she couldn’t be placed on a scale to gauge how little she weighed — be lucky?
When the alternative was becoming someone’s dinner. And when — as is the case for Franny, a now-30-pound Korean Jindo who’s about two years old — you’re now healthy enough to be adopted after being rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm.
In October 2020, Humane Society International rescued about 200 dogs in South Korea. After a quarantine, nine of them came to the York County SPCA in November. Within months, eight were healthy and (as far as any human can tell) happy in adoptive homes.
But Franny needed more care and more time. So York SPCA’s Sammy Green, who has fostered literally countless animals (“Over a hundred. I lost count,” she told us), took Franny into her home, striking that delicate combination of attachment and detachment that a foster parent has to strike, when the goal is to love an animal just enough that they can find another loving home.
Now that the job is done, Green concedes “mixed feelings” about preparing Franny for a forever home.
Her boyfriend, whom she lives with? His feelings aren’t even mixed.
“He loves her. He’s having a hard time accepting it,” Green said, but knows he has to, because they have a cat — and Franny doesn’t get along with cats, and their house isn’t big enough to keep everyone separated forever.
Kaila Young, York SPCA’s communications director, notes that rescuing dogs from meat farms in countries like South Korea isn’t about judging their cultures.
“For them, eating dog meat was no different than eating cows or pigs or chickens,” Young said. In other words: Westerners view eating dogs as (for example) people from India view eating cows.
“In South Korea, the practice of eating dog meat is actually getting to be outdated in their culture anyway,” Young said. She said younger Koreans, in particular, have turned away from dog meat.
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But rescuing the dogs means — in a sense — “rescuing” the farmers.
“They don’t do this work because they hate dogs,” Young said. “They do this work because it’s their livelihood.”
So Humane Society International’s role, aside from rounding up and transporting the dogs and finding partner shelters like York County SPCA?
“With the closing of those farms, they do work with the farmers to help them find other sources of income and transition into other jobs,” Young said.
Franny is now available for adoption just like other dogs, although the process for Franny — for selecting a family and then for transitioning her into her new home — will be more lengthy than for more straightforward adoption cases.
“I may meet them at a park,” Green said. “Do some walking with their dogs if they have any. It’s probably going to be a course of a few weeks until we’re all comfortable.”