Dogs Danny and Yoshi recently arrived on a flight from South Korea to meet their new families in Los Angeles — after escaping a kill shelter, a fire, and the newly banned dog meat trade.

Both dogs were found at a kill shelter where rescuers feared they were at risk of being “adopted” by buyers looking to capitalize on the dog meat trade before the newly-passed ban went into effect, according to In Defense of Animals (IDA). The clock was ticking for both dogs — especially for Yoshi, a Shiba Inu, who was reportedly days away from being put down.

After being saved from the kill shelter – by IDA and Jindo Love Rescue – both dogs were sent to a rescue center to await adoption.

Danny narrowly avoided death again when the center where he was housed tragically caught fire. Fortunately, Danny escaped with his life; but he suffered burns, smoke inhalation, and other minor injuries, according to IDA.

Danny and Yoshi’s luck changed for the better when they finally arrived in the U.S.

When Yoshi first met his new guardian at the LAX airport, he wasted no time jumping into her loving embrace. Danny was a bit more cautious about leaving his enclosure. It took lots of gentle coaxing from his new guardian and encouragement from his friend Yoshi before Danny felt confident enough to emerge from the carrier. Eventually, the two dogs went on their first walk with their new families, together.

Danny is a Donggyeong dog – a rare breed that has special significance to South Korean culture. His incredible survival after several brushes with death (with help from animal activists) feels emblematic of the future of dogs in South Korea following the dog meat ban. The historic ban would not have been possible without decades of activism from compassionate individuals and animal rights organizations — including Lady Freethinker and IDA — across the globe.

“We couldn’t be happier for these dogs, who are so deserving of all the love in the world,” Patti Kim, President of Jindo Love Rescue, said in a statement about the rescues. “We wish them and their new families the best, and hope their lives are filled with fun and adventure.” 

Dogs rescued from such traumatic and dire situations need extra gentle care from experienced dog guardians. Lady Freethinker celebrates the new chance at life these sweet dogs will have in their new homes and encourages those with the experience and resources to adopt dogs rescued from the meat trade.