Fi has an extensive network of Rescue organizations nationwide that we provide Fi collars (and Fi Nanos!) to during a dog’s time in foster care, and eventually extend this safety net to their new forever families. This allows the organization to keep an eye on the location & activity of each dog within their care, ensuring that every pup is where it’s supposed to be and getting the appropriate amount of physical activity. If you know of a rescue who we should be working with, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We chatted with Claudia, a co-founder of the DoVE Project, to learn more about their organization and their mission to end the dog meat trade in Asia:
How did you start the DoVE Project?
My longtime friend and now co-founder, Tami, are both animal lovers - we were in a yoga class chatting with our instructor, when she informed us that the dog meat trade in South Korea was still operating - we couldn’t believe it. We felt the first step in making change was to bear witness to what we’d heard, so we went to Korea and met with politicians, activists, and even dog meat farmers and dog meat restaurant owners. We really immersed ourselves in understanding the industry.
After meeting with all of these locals, we learned that there are still 2,500 dog meat farms sanctioned by the government...and thousands more that practice unlawfully. In order to end this practice, we needed to change the hearts and minds in Korea through education and advocacy.
Education is critical for long term change, and we didn’t want to go about our mission in a disparaging way toward the dog meat farmers. This is their livelihood, they’re doing the best they can, and we’re careful to be culturally sensitive when educating the public and communicating our mission.
What are the best ways for folks to support the organization at this time?
It’s been an interesting time, it’s tough to fundraise during a pandemic, when people are rightfully focussed on providing frontline workers with PPE, or recently relief for victims of natural disasters. As any non-profit, donations are really important, especially since we’re not holding in-person fundraising events. We’re supporting over 200 dogs in South Korea that were rescued from meat farms, and although some will be adopted, many will remain at our facility their whole life. Social media has also been critical in spreading our message and mission, as well as finding adopters and fosters in the SoCal area.
Any outstanding adoption stories that have taken place during the pandemic?
Maverick and Diana! Maverick was rescued by another organization in Korea, they had received a tip from a whistleblower that there was an illegal slaughterhouse in the area. It was raided and shut down, and found Maverick hanging by his neck clinging to life. Luckily he survived, but of course he was so traumatized - everything scared him.
During his rehabilitation, he met Diana, another dog that had been rescued from the dog meat trade. Before meeting Diana, Maverick had no trust of people. But Diana soothed him, he trusted her and she showed him how to trust others. They’re soul siblings, they’re a bonded pair. We moved both of them to California and they were recently adopted - they’ll live out their lives together with a great family (with a great backyard)!
How does Fi help keep dogs from the DoVE Project safe?
Well, Rosie, who is a very skittish and very high flight risk dog, was with a new foster when one evening the foster opened her front door and Rosie came through the front door and headed towards the fence enclosing the front yard. In a split second, Rosie slid under the fence and took off “like a racehorse”. She was running full speed in a highly-populated area in San Pedro California.
We activated the lost dog mode and we were able to see which direction Rosie was going and her last address where she was. The foster started tracking her with the app. With the help of some neighborhood boys, they were able to locate her and corner her and capture her. Rosie is now resting comfortably recovering from her adventure.
We have had dogs get away from fosters and adopters in the past and it is very difficult to find these shy and skittish dogs. It has taken days, weeks, and even months to find some. This is the first dog to escape since our partnership with Fi. What a life saving tool! We were able to get real-time information that allowed us to go right to the dog! We can say without a doubt, the Fi collar saved Rosie’s life! Thank you for all you do to help us out almost every day! Without your support, this could have had a very different outcome.
Any extra special dogs in need of a forever home we can spread the word about?
Oliver! He’s an awesome Jindo, his history is a bit of a mystery so he really needs a stable forever home. He is super active (you can check his Fi Collar for proof!), independent, and loyal. His trainer advises that his future owner needs to be a confident, experienced dog owner - so if that sounds like you, apply to adopt here.