Upon arriving at the Humane Society of Calvert County, I was greeted with bouncing excitement in the form of yips and little wagging tails. The spacious outdoor kennels lined the parking area. One small white dog and one white and black dog, were very happy to see me. Little did I know, these were a couple of many dogs, I would meet, who had suffered cruelty in their former home. You see these abundantly happy little dogs, had been rescued from a dog meat farm in South Korea.
The Humane Society of Calvert County, with the help of The Human Society International, had received eight dogs. The dogs were rescued by HSA (hsa.org), as the result of a negotiated dog meat farm shut down in South Korea. When I approached the building, staff and volunteers were scampering around to kennels to meet the needs of the dogs. Shortly I was greeted by board member and vice president of HSCC, Tanya Gott. Ms. Gott was gracious enough to show me the dogs and explain their situation.
We met one large breed dog with amber eyes, who had been used as a breeding dog. The dog’s teats were enlarged and hanging as a result of multiple litters. This gentle giant of a dog, excitedly took treats from Ms. Gotts hand. Ms. Gott was able to put her fingers completely in the dog’s mouth. She explained that all of the dogs from South Korea are very gentle when being hand fed. Ms. Gott also explained that they are currently working on getting this dog up to an appropriate weight and letting her body rest, so that she can heal from the stress of being bred so frequently.
I was fortunate to meet the little black and white dog on his way back to his kennel after his walk. At HSCC, every dog goes for a walk, each day, while they are in their outdoor kennels. When the little boy realized Ms. Gott had treats, he danced on his hind legs to receive one. Today was indeed, a special day for this little fellow. His adoptive family arrived a little later and he was then on the way to his fur-ever home. Ms. Gott explained that many of the little dogs are very social, because they shared quarters and received comfort from other dogs, while in captivity. She emphasized that this wasn’t always true for the larger dogs. They were made to live in isolation, without the physical contact of other dogs, while on the South Korean farm.
I visited several little dogs and they were indeed very friendly. It was unfortunate that my camera made clicking sounds as I tried to get their photos. They became suspicious of me and needed to be given treats to overcome their fear of the noise. Ms. Gott said that their experiences have been very limited and that even while on their walks, they are fearful of the breaking of twigs and similar sounds that they find unfamiliar. It is common practice at HSCC to introduce positive reinforcement, in the forms of treats, to help these dogs overcome their fear of sounds in their new environment. To assuage their fears, I was given advice on how to stand sideways, to be less imposing to the dogs from South Korea. But not all the small dogs were fearful. The little white dog, whom I met, while first coming in, was so ecstatic when I entered her kennel. She did zoomies in the kennel and made attempts to leap into my arms. It took many treats until she was calm enough to lay her large white ears down on her head. A truly sweet and loving animal in need of a fur-ever family.
While visiting the new arrivals from South Korea, I also was given the opportunity to meet some dogs and puppies from a kill shelter in Virginia. HSCC took these very amiable pups in, when the Va shelter contacted HSCC and explained that the pups would be put down if no one took them. When I entered the puppy kennel, I was greeted by a warm ball of wiggly puppies. They were so energetic and wanting some attention. I dared not open the kennel or they would spill out like marbles I wouldn’t be able to catch. Later Ms. Gott wrangled a few for me to pet. The puppies are boxer/pit bull mixes and couldn’t have been more friendly and sweet if they tried. To be honest being a pet owner and lover, it was difficult for me not to walk out with one of these bundles of cuteness. It is my understanding that several of the puppies are still available for adoption. Applications for adoptions are available on the HSCC website. (humansocietyofcalvertcounty.org)
Ms. Gott and I continued our tour into the indoor kennel to visit the last of the South Korean dogs and another rescue from the Virginia kill shelter. As we approached the indoor kennel, we were greeted by the sweetest hound dog from the Virginia shelter. She sought our attention with the most sweet and soulful dark eyes. One of the South Korean dogs was being kept in isolation (from other dogs) in the indoor kennel until he was able to overcome kennel cough. Two staff were attending to his needs, as we approached. He was very energetic and friendly and appeared to be on the mend. After we greeted him, we made sure we washed up so not to spread any germs to the other dogs. All these beautiful pups are in need of home and family.
Tanya Gott added, “we are very appreciative for Dee and Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram for their help in providing transport for these puppies and dogs and their continued support of the Humane Society of Calvert County.”
If you are interested in more information on the animals that were brought to the HSCC from South Korea or kill shelters, please contact the Humane Society of Calvert County (humansocietyofcalvertcounty.org). During this time of quarantine and uncertainty, wouldn’t it be grand to add a new fur-family member to your home? Even if you don’t feel like owning a new pet is for you, you can assist the HSCC through donations that facilitate their exemplary work with these animals.
Please enjoy the picture gallery below!
Jen Wallace Magee / Calvert Beacon Intern