A Rescue mission at SFO to raise awareness of man’s best friend used as dog-meat

Miyoko Schinner of Miyoko's Creamery of Petaluma, CA volunteered with In Defense of Animals and Jindo Love Rescue to fly dog meat survivor Koru from Seoul to San Francisco to her new loving family. Photo courtesy of: In Defense of Animals/Jindo Love Rescue

Praised as humanity’s best friend, it’s difficult to fathom that in some parts of the world the family dog is considered as meat on the table. An estimated 25 million dogs are eaten each year, according statistics compiled in 2014. This is something that organizations like In Defense of Animals (IDA) and Jindo Love Rescues of California are working together to raise awareness of and put a stop to it.

This past September 21, a dog name Koru from South Korea arrived at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to be greeted by her new adoptive family of Jade Naughton and Alexx Ironwolf.

The couple drove from their home in Portland Oregon to SFO to welcome Koru as part of their family. A dachshund named Squishy, accompanied Naughton and Ironwolf, he will be one of Koru’s new canine siblings and all together they will live in a safe and happy household. Koru traveled over 6,500 miles to reach her new happily ever after home.

Yet this joyous outcome might not have happened if Miyoko Schinner, the founder and CEO of Miyoko’s Creamery of Petaluma and others had not gotten word of Koru’s plight.

Schinner is on a mission to change people’s perception of animals that are raised and killed for food. Her Sonoma County-based manufacturing of cheese products are dairy-free. Miyoko’s Creamery supports a vegan diet and the plant-based community. Over the past few years Miyoko’s Creamery has doubled its output to meet demand for vegan, plant-based foods in California and the U.S.

“Dogs might not be the first animals who come to mind when we talk about farmed animals. But they are sadly also victims of people’s desire for meat,” said Schinner.

“I hope people look at Koru, and come to understand that she’s just like other unique and individual animals who are exploited and killed by the billions in animal agriculture every year. All animals deserve to live and be loved, said Schinner. I am proud to support In Defense of Animals and Jindo Love Rescue in their life-saving work to rescue hundreds of dogs from becoming dog meat every year.”

Schinner also wanted people to know that in South Korea alone an estimated 2.5 million dogs are raised and then brutally slaughtered for their meat annually. “Change can’t come soon enough,” she said.

According to IDA, 2-year-old Koru’s life in South Korea was bleak. Kept outside on a chain, she was rescued after having a litter of puppies with no shelter, and barely enough room to move or nurse. The man in South Korea who tended to Koru was going to sell her puppies to a slaughterhouse. Dealing with many obstacles, bureaucracies, customs, etc. over a period of almost two years, Koru narrowly escaped a doomed fate.

As soon as Jindo Love Rescue got word, together with In Defense of Animals and Schinner, they all took action as quickly as possible.

“Finding flight volunteers is hard enough in regular times, but COVID-19 has made them extra scarce, said Fleur Dawes, speaking on behalf of In Defense of Animals. Without volunteers, we’ve been forced to pay thousands of dollars in cargo fees to get dogs to their loving adopters during the pandemic. These dog-meat survivors have been through hell and rescuing them is only possible thanks to our generous supporters, like Miyoko’s Creamery. We hope that Miyoko’s freedom flight for Koru will inspire others to volunteer or donate to our lifesaving efforts,” Dawes said. She is and IDA staff are seeking volunteers. 

Since their teaming up in 2017, In Defense of Animals and Jindo Love Rescue have successfully saved hundreds of dogs, finding new homes for them in North America.

“Honestly, said Jade Naughton, this has been the best and most wonderful experience I’ve ever had adopting a dog.” She and her partner Alexx Ironwolf drove from Portland, Oregon to SFO to welcome Koru into their family.

Naughton and Ironwolf are vegan and fans of the Miyoko’s Creamery line of food products. They were grateful that Schinner took the time to escort Koru on the plane from Seoul, South Korea to SFO.

“I am so grateful to a friend who introduced me to Jindo Love Rescue and In Defense of Animals, said Naughton. Everyone involved has been amazing at getting everything arranged for us as smoothly and quickly as possible. Honestly, this has been the best and most wonderful experience I’ve ever had adopting a dog.”

In Defense of Animals, an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters has a 37-year history of protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats through education, campaigns, and hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi. To learn more visit the IDA web site.