Every day, there is an opportunity to rescue dogs in China and South Korea. In China, we work with activists who we were introduced to by the founder of Little China Dog Rescue, and in Korea, we work with a handful of trustworthy volunteers who we have met through social media. These activists and volunteers rescue dogs from slaughterhouses, breeding farms, butcher shops, high-kill shelters, and even off of trucks on the road. Rescue missions in China and South Korea are critical to Nana’s Haven’s mission but the trauma doesn't stop for these dogs once they are rescued.
Once the dogs are rescued, Nana’s Haven has a team that transports the dogs to the closest veterinary clinic. This can cost anywhere from $250-1,000 depending on how far the vet is, the size of the vehicle required, and the number of dog crates needed. At the vet, the dogs will begin a journey to emotional, mental, and physical recovery.
Dogs arrive at one of two veterinary clinics in China, which are led by two incredible vets that the founder of Little China Dog Rescue introduced us to. These vets work tirelessly, giving Nana's haven continuous updates and accompanying pictures. They even provide home-cooked meals for our dogs. Dogs spend a minimum of 4 weeks at the vet and while they are there, they are fully examined, vaccinated, microchipped, spayed or neutered, and nursed back to health.
For dogs that are rescued in South Korea, they are transported to a vet that our partner, weACT, introduced us to. He is committed to his work and equally dedicated to helping animals in need. Dogs spend a minimum of 4 weeks at the vet where they are fully examined, vaccinated, microchipped, spayed or neutered, and nursed back to health.
Once dogs are medically cleared in China, they continue to the Safe Haven, located just outside of Beijing. The Safe Haven resembles a sanctuary for dogs and is actually an old school which a benefactor purchased for the director of the Safe Haven. A nutritionist, groomer and behaviorist keep watch over the dogs and work with them daily. Here, over the course of 13 weeks, the goal is to provide a nurturing environment for the dogs and give them the space to acclimate to their new lives. We want the dogs to learn to trust humans again: we show them love and affection while working on basic obedience and potty training. For dogs with behavioral issues or disabilities, there is a separate area that they are kept, where they receive additional training and rehabilitation. The Safe Haven has truly been a dream come true for Nana’s Haven, and we are grateful to our partner, Little China Dog Rescue, for introducing us to this sanctuary.
While we don’t have a Safe Haven in South Korea, we have dreams of having one someday. After medical clearance in South Korea, most of the dogs will be taken to meet their fosters, which we have had the pleasure of meeting through rescue organizations in South Korea. If we do not have enough fosters, we board the dogs in a local boarding facility. While dogs are at the Safe Haven or with fosters in South Korea, Nana’s Haven works on finding them a forever family that will be perfect for them.
The freedom flight is one of the last steps in getting these deserving dogs to their forever homes. Because the dog adoption rate in South Korea is low and even lower in China, many of the dogs are adopted into homes in the United States. Other dogs that are ready to be adopted but haven’t found their forever homes yet are flown to fosters in the United States where they then wait to be adopted.
Flying a dog from China can cost upwards of $5,000 while dogs from South Korea are relatively cheaper. If a flight volunteer is available, the freedom flight is only $1,000 but if there is no volunteer, it could cost up to $3,000 for a cargo flight. Because of these high costs, fundraisers, donations, and flight volunteers are a crucial part to getting dogs to their forever homes.