Over the last three days, we have sent 58 pets home with new families who will enjoy a lifetime of unconditional love. While by no means a record, for a mid-January weekend, this was a rather remarkable few days.
Adopting a pet always signifies a new beginning – a second chance for a formerly homeless animal who is welcomed into a family. Among the 27 dogs adopted this weekend were many who first arrived in this country in December and have spent the last month and a half taking in new experiences under the expert care of our veterinary medical staff and our behavior and training specialists. These dogs, who were born on a cruel dog meat farm in South Korea and once destined for slaughter, are now being adopted to loving American families who will cherish them and give them the happy lives they richly deserve.
Their arrival in Richmond on December 2 was greeted by local media, including a story in the Richmond-Times Dispatch. While their stay at our humane center has been much more quiet, following steps our Director of Veterinary Medicine prescribed to ensure that each is in good health, behind the scenes, senior behavior specialist Jackie Laubacher and our Green Team behavior volunteers have been working to socialize and give them a foundation for reward-based training that will help them adapt to their new lives. Although this was our first international rescue, our team was well prepared by work we have done to save dogs locally from other circumstances of terrible abuse such as hoarding cases and puppy mills.
Along the way, many interested potential adopters have signed up with our helpful Match Finder tool to receive alerts when these dogs became available for adoption. The first of those alerts went out on Friday – and more will be received in the next few days – that Korean Jindo mixes were available for adoption. Adoption manager Timothy Joyner reports that there has been an overwhelming amount of interest, which has been good for other pets in our care as well since more visitors typically means more matches for all pets in our charge, as evidenced by the great adoption numbers this weekend.
“The community response was nothing but positive,” Joyner said, and interest has also come from outside the area. “Today in fact, we have a family of five waiting in our lobby two hours before we open. They drove down from New Jersey this morning to visit with Daegu.”
Though slightly bittersweet for those who have bonded with them and come to love them, it is exciting for our staff and volunteers to see these dogs go on to new lives. Fortunately, the many resources available to our adopters – our free behavior helpline, a wide array of training classes, and low-cost vet care at our Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital – ensure that we will have many opportunities to see them return and to help their families as they adjust.
Tabitha Frizzell Treloar is the director of communications for the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires both your first and last name to be used as your screen name.