“Sweet Caroline,” a beautiful puppy lucky enough to be rescued from the South Korean dog meat trade, now has a completely new life in America, where she is working hard to become a trained therapy dog.
Rescued by Nami Kim – a South Korean woman who founded Save Korean Dogs – the six-month-old Jindo mix reportedly has the perfect personality for this new vocation. Her caretakers say she is inquisitive, playful, gentle and loving; she dances when you call her name, and tilts her head from side to side when you get her excited.
In the last six years, Kim’s organisation has successfully rescued and transported over 1,300 dogs from South Korea to various homes in the US, Canada and UK. She works closely with the South Korean government, and raises awareness through protests and advertising campaigns.
South Korea has more than 17,000 dog meat farms, and millions of dogs are killed every year for consumption. They live in deplorable conditions, trapped in tiny metal cages and denied proper nourishment. They have no contact with humans and no medical attention.
“To be honest, I shed tears often seeing the older dogs blossoming,” says Kim. “These dogs were never allowed to be dogs and needed to learn how to be a dog. These dogs grew up having never been handled by a human, never knew the gentle touch of love and kindness.”
With a Facebook following of over 135,000 people, Kim also runs a page where people can share their success stories and follow the beautiful transformations of the dogs she has re-homed over the years.
“We are taking what some South Koreans consider the lowest form of dog – a ‘meat dog’ – and we are not only making it a pet dog, but we are showing how it can become a ‘therapy dog’ – one that helps humans in the very best way,” says Jennifer Harding, a supporter from the US. “This is how we can change the minds and perceptions of the South Koreans that continue to raise, sell and slaughter dogs on dog meat farms, and those that consume them in restaurants while they have their ‘pet’ dogs safe at home with their families.”
Melissa Munoz, the force behind Pawsitive Perspective Animal Training, is handling the training process with this precious pup, and says that in spite of her brutal past, Caroline is a very special dog.
“I really believe that certain animals, certain people, have a certain spirit about them, and she just really does, so it’s been an instant connection with pretty much everyone who has encountered her,” says Munoz. “We are thrilled to be helping Caroline and we welcome bringing her message to the world. [She] has been working hard learning her basic obedience skills and public manners.”