How does the adoption process work?
We do things a bit differently than other rescues. Instead of filling out an application to start, we prefer to send you a series of pre-interview questions that let us get a “feel” for the person/family and what kind of life they would provide a dog rather than reading answers to questions on a form.
Steps of the adoption process:
- Pick a dog (or we can do a dog match based on the interview)
- Contact us via Facebook Messenger with a request to start the interview process
- An adoption coordinator will send pre-interview questions about your home, lifestyle, experience with dogs
- After the JLR team assesses the responses, you proceed to a group interview with the JLR team
- We require a $100 partially refundable application fee at the start of the interview to ensure inquiries are serious
- After the interview questions, JLR will assess the match again and if we feel it’s a fit, proceed with a formal Adoption Application
- Formal Adoption Approval/Denial
- If approved, 50% of the adoption donation is due at approval; the other 50% is due when the dog’s flight is booked
- We coordinate the flight from South Korea to the US for the dogs to travel to their forever homes! We look for the next availability with our couriers traveling to your selected airport with a direct flight from Seoul.
- Please be aware the flight days and times for delivery of the dogs are based on the schedules of our volunteer flight couriers.
- Pick up your pup at the airport!
Our adoption process is conducted via Facebook Messenger so all team members in the U.S. and in South Korea can participate. Prompt/eager communication is a big plus for us. We encourage you to elaborate on your replies and give us a sense of what you are like and what life for an adopted dog would be like with you. If the adoption process progresses, we set up an interview via a group chat on Messenger with all our team members. Please note that everyone involved (i.e. anyone living in the household) needs to be in the group interview.
How much does it cost to adopt from JLR?
Since we fly our dogs directly from our foster facility in South Korea to the US where adopters pick them up at the airport, the adoption donation does vary. This donation ranges from $1100-2400. The amount depends on the dog’s size, weight, medical care, airport and flight type, etc. We refer to our fee as a donation since this is NOT a purchase — it covers their rescue and flight expenses and care.
The real cost of rescuing, altering, vaccinating, and caring for a dog is anywhere from just under a thousand dollars to more than several thousand dollars. We often incur huge costs in the rescue of our dogs and even more in medical bills and care. Unfortunately, we are entirely volunteer-run and we have to pass on to our adopters as we do not have a large donor base that can subsidize these costs.
What are you looking for in an adopter?
We want our rescued dogs to have a loving forever home where they are with their human family a majority of the time, go on adventures, and have at least one dog sibling (or more).
We have so many wonderful dogs in search of a home, but we want to be upfront with potential adopters about the fact that our dogs are not suited for every home. We prefer homes with at least one other dog present of a similar age and energy level, and we also want to see our dogs go to active homes that offer more stimulation than walks around the block.
However, if you do not have another dog but the dog will be socialized regularly and lead a life of adventures, we still would love to hear from you. Just know that in the event of multiple potential adopters applying for the same dog, an adopter with another dog will receive priority consideration (assuming the dog has a great dog life).
We look for adopters who are dedicated to meeting their dog’s physical, emotional, and mental needs through their lifestyle and making their dogs a part of their family. The ‘feel’ for a home is very important to us, combined with your dog experience and patience informed by love and understanding of these dogs’ previous lives. In short, we’re looking for people who are advanced-level dog owners.
We do not adopt dogs into situations where they would live as an outside dog or be confined/isolated from the family, nor where they would be in a kennel for hours on end while humans are at work. We recognize this arrangement works for many dogs and their families, but it is not what we want for our dogs, nor what they deserve after surviving the dog meat trade.
Our rescue should not be compared to your local shelter. Whereas a local shelter dog that is in a kennel alone for 75% of the time would have a vastly improved life just being placed in home, for our dogs, living without another dog and in a kennel for the majority of the day would actually be a less full life than they lead currently. We have a renovated warehouse that serves as our foster facility for our rescues in South Korea. The dogs all free roam and play together, sleep together, eat together, etc. all day.
Please don’t be offended by any questions that we might ask as they are only to help with adoption. We do not judge your lifestyle, as long as our dog is taken care of and loved as a member of the family. If we feel that the dog is not a match with your family or need to cancel the adoption, we will let you know.
Where are the dogs rescued from?
Most of our dogs are rescued from the South Korean dog meat trade, but we also save dogs in South Korea from cases of cruelty and dogs that are in kill shelters or come from puppy mills, as well as abandoned and stray dogs as any of these dogs can become victims of the meat trade.
What happens once the dogs are rescued?
After the dogs are rescued, they are brought to our foster home in South Korea where they are taken care of by our amazing foster parents. We do not kennel our dogs – they are in a group setting and are socialized. They are also evaluated by our veterinarians and vaccinated. The dogs will stay at our foster home until they are adopted.
Do you only have Jindo dogs for adoption?
Though many of the dogs we have available are Jindos or Korean Village Dogs, we have a variety of other breeds and mixes for adoption. This includes: Labs, Shiba Inus, Corgis, German Shepherds, Shih Tzus, Sapsarees, Huskies, Poodles, etc.
Are the breeds 100% pure?
We have no way to validate the exact breed of any of our dogs as we are NOT a breeder. The best we can do is have the vet assess their physical characteristics to determine the breed/mixture and estimated size.
What should I expect when adopting a dog from JLR?
Our policy is that we typically do not adopt our dogs out as the only dog in the home unless it is a special situation. We do have some dogs who can be the only dog in the home but they are older puppies and/or more than 18 months.
Being an only dog is very difficult for most of our dogs. Without another dog in the home, the adjustment is incredibly difficult for our dogs. This video shows you the Foster Facility where they all spend all day together, free-roaming.
Further, our dogs need deep socialization that many owners cannot accommodate, especially without another dog in the home. Our puppies don’t fly until they are at least 4 months old for medical reasons, which means they miss the early socialization window by necessity. Lack of socialization may be the most common culprit leading to canine fear-based behaviors. The longer the dog is with us, the more they think it’s their home and even a puppy with no trauma can have a hard time adjusting to their new homes, especially a home with no other dogs.
We have a foster mom and many lovely volunteers who spend time with the dogs and work on socialization and training as much as possible, but adopters will need to leash train and potty train all dogs, regardless of age or their training level at the foster facility. We cannot test our dogs with cats or children for this reason. We have some dogs who can go to homes with cats and/or young children, but some who cannot.
Much of what our dogs will experience in the journeying to the U.S. will be unfamiliar and scary to them, and homes that have another dog have an easier time gaining trust with our rescues as they mimic the other dog’s behavior and are reassured by their presence.
Obviously, our foster facility is an amazing place and cares for them very well, but there are some socialization elements it, our foster mom, and the amazing care team of volunteers cannot provide.
Additionally, Jindos, Korean Village Dogs, and related breeds are not for everyone. This is not a lab or golden retriever personality that loves everyone and is happy all the time. These are opinionated dogs with extremely high prey drives who are often very people and/or dog selective about whom they like and trust. Pair that with the potential need for re-education on socialization, and you can end up in a bad situation quickly where the dog is unhappy or possibly unsafe. We are extremely selective in our process because we want to set everyone up for success – both humans and dogs.
Why do you oppose the use of crates?
We have crates set up in our foster facility but the door is always open and our dogs are fully free-roaming, never confined. Dogs who are rescued from a dog meat farm or puppy mills were born and raised in a cage, never leaving it and often denied fresh food and water. They stand in their own excrement and never know exercise or kindness from humans until rescue. These dogs are incredibly smart and they watch everything, meaning if they were a dog meat trade dog, they saw torture and brutality and death every day.
The last thing we want to do is place them into a home that puts them back in a cage. While we fully support crate training for emergencies, travel, and other safety reasons, we feel a dog can be potty trained and taught how to be safe in a home without the use of a crate.
We’ve been doing this long enough to be a bit frustrated with Western/American vets and trainers who push the crate issue as we believe it to be based on misinformation and a misunderstanding one a single scientific study from the 1970s that has been debunked in other areas (e.g. alpha theory).
We do recognize that crate training works well in some instances but it’s not the best way to train dogs (in our opinion). If anything, for our dogs, it can even have the opposite effect and regress trust by triggering memories for them of the dog meat trade. We’ve had dogs cry for hours and try to break out after two minutes of being confined in a crate. We’ve also had dogs who lose trust in the person who kennels them, and their demeanor changes after the crate experience.
For our dogs, you CANNOT apply what others have recommended nor what Google tells you because they have no idea where our dogs have been rescued from and the trauma that is associated with those experiences, which are often very different than the life experiences of a dog rescued through a local shelter or a puppy bought from a breeder.
Why do you prefer adopters to work from home?
In terms of a work schedule, extended periods away do not allow a dog to decompress and bond with you while going through the acclimation period. Coming home for lunch is just not enough. Our dogs come from traumatic pasts and can carry that with them so would require special attention. The first three months after adoption are crucial for bonding.
We really try to thoughtfully place each animal in the best possible home and match potential adopters with the dog best suited to their lives and the dog’s needs. Our preference is to find active homes with advanced-level dog knowledge where our dogs get consistent exercise, mental stimulation, socialization, and care and bonding.
We’re also looking for people who can be really present in their dog’s life, and for the dog’s life to be consistent with no more than 3-4 hours alone. While we know there are many dogs with families working a full day Monday through Friday outside the home, that is not the kind of life we want our dogs to live after their rescue and time at the free-roaming foster facility.
What should I expect in the first few days after bringing a JLR dog home?
First of all, please know our dogs are very happy in our foster home. We strive to find homes that can bring them an equal or greater measure of happiness.
The reason why we strive to find homes with another dog is that the dogs adjust much better to their new homes. It’s quite traumatizing to be with their friends 24/7 and all of the sudden, have no dogs at all in a new home. Many people will say they have friends who have dogs, dog parks nearby, their apartment complex has many dog owners, etc. – please know it’s NOT the same as having another dog present all the time.
In a home with just people, they don’t have the same playing stimulation (no matter how much they’re loved) and unless the owners live a very active life, some dogs develop depression and anxiety followed by behavioral issues. A dog’s life of just going for a walk around the neighborhood, going out in their backyard (if there’s a yard), and hanging out at home is not the kind of home we prefer for our dogs.
These dogs have been shipped from across the world which in most cases, is a traumatic experience by itself. In a lot of situations, we don’t know what the dog has been through prior to rescue. Every dog is different: some walk out of the crate in the airport and give their new family hugs and kisses and some take hours to feel safe enough to be coaxed out with tasty treats.
For the first month, it’s normal for a dog to be confused, fearful, and not trusting since everything is strange and new to them. They don’t understand English, everything smells differently, and there are many new noises they’ve never heard such as a leaf blower or a trash truck.
We ask that adopters ease expectations, as the airport and flight experience can be a sensory overload. Patience is key. Let the dogs decompress in your home, and give them time to feel safe. Building trust takes time and the key is providing positive reinforcement and making positive associations.
We know this sounds like a lot, but our rehoming rate is extremely low (less than 20 in 6 years and 1,000+ dogs) because we are so careful in how we match dogs to homes. As much as we feel we know our dogs, we don’t know the dynamics of their new home and how they adjust/thrive/struggle is something unknown to all of us until they arrive. We do our best to prepare adopters but we can’t screen fully to see if you have the experience, confidence, and energy to match a dog’s needs and personality. That’s one of the reasons why we ask for updates (especially in the first month) to make sure that both the dog and the family are adjusting well.
Why do you care about updates?
When you adopt a dog from us, you join our mission. You and your dog become ambassadors for our fight to end the dog meat trade in South Korea. We want to show the world that there is no difference between a dog meat dog and a pet dog. Updates of their new happy lives help our cause and are a living testimony to show others that these dogs are special and deserving of loving homes, just like every other dog.
From the time of rescue, our team (especially our foster mom) cares for these dogs’ every need as they settle in our hearts. We name them and get to know them from head to toe and love them as our own. We don’t stop caring because they’re not in our foster facility.
We ask that adopters keep us informed at least every few months on how the dogs are doing. Updates can be provided via an Instagram account set up for the dog, via our Jindo Love Family Facebook group – a private group only for adopters, or via the adoption Messenger chat.
Do you allow people to foster a dog to see if it is a fit?
Unfortunately, as a very small rescue, we cannot incur the costs of flying a dog to the US without an adopter assisting. Additionally, we do not have a network of fosters in the U.S. so we cannot risk the foster situation not working out and then have a dog with nowhere to go.
Is there a quarantine period for the rescued dogs?
All dogs are quarantined for 30-days in Korea after the first rabies shot is given.
What vaccinations, tests, and treatments are given to the dogs?
- Rabies, 3x DHPP, 2x Canine Flu, 2x Kennel Cough
- Any parasitic infections are also treated (giardia, anaplasmosis, etc.)
- Older dogs are tested for heartworm
- Puppies are tested for parvo/distemper
- We also do a 4DX kit test for some dogs which includes:
- Canis, Phagocytophilum, Lyme Disease, and Heartworm
What airports do you fly to?
As of right now, we only send dogs to the mainland United States. We only use Korean/Asiana Air to transport dogs to the U.S. for their safety. Other airlines have high rates of dog injuries and death. Our airport locations with direct flights from Seoul, South Korea. However, locations and flight availability are based on the travel schedule of our couriers.
- Atlanta (ATL)
- Boston (BOS)
- Chicago (ORD)
- Dallas (DFW)
- Los Angeles (LAX)**
- New York (JFK)**
- San Francisco (SFO)*
- Seattle (SEA)*
- Washington, DC (IAD)
** Best airports (easiest to find couriers)
* Not as easy as LAX/JFK but better than other airports
In a global pandemic, it’s extremely hard to find flight couriers. Adopters need to be flexible in traveling to other airports if needed and willing to accept an airport that is not their first choice. We routinely have people from Floria travel to JFK to pick up dogs, people in the Midwest head to LAX, etc.
Can you fly dogs to Canada?
Prior to COVID, we were able to fly dogs to Vancouver or Toronto (direct flights). Because of increased restrictions and an inability to find couriers for Canadian destinations, we cannot fly to Canada at this time.
What is a customs broker?
Using a customs broker provides expertise in the entry procedures and requirements to safely import our dogs to the U.S. Customs brokers are private individuals or businesses licensed, regulated, and empowered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assist importers and exporters in meeting federal requirements governing imports and exports. Brokers submit necessary information and appropriate payments to CBP on behalf of their clients (in this case, our adopters) and charge a fee for this service. JLR has a partnership with a customs broker we recommend and use routinely, but we also allow adopters to find their own if they so choose.
The customs broker will need your driver’s license, a utility bill that verifies residency, your social security number, and a signed Power of Attorney form we provide. Verification of your identity is required by U.S. law to confirm the identity of the person receiving the dog.
The dogs’ Health Certificate and other required importation documents are submitted by JLR.
What is a flight courier?
Flight couriers are volunteers, not paid employees. They are regular travelers from South Korea to the U.S. who step up to bring an adopted dog with them, taking on the work of transporting a dog through customs to their new adopters. We only use the help of couriers flying via Korean or Asiana Air for our dogs’ safety, and only use direct flights. This also limits our courier choices so the flexibility of the adopters is imperative. We do not ask couriers to change their flights to accommodate an adopter’s schedule.
Due to COVID, we are experiencing unexpected cancellations/rescheduling of the flights if couriers test positive. There’s nothing we can do about this, so adopters have to be flexible. It’s frustrating and we understand the hassle of having to shuffle your schedule but we are dependent on these volunteer couriers.
What is the turn-around time for coordinating the flight?
Once the adoption is confirmed, we typically can find a flight courier within a month to our most-traveled airports. They are volunteers (flight couriers) and we have no control of the flight schedule. JFK and LAX airports are the easiest in terms of finding a courier but sometimes, it can even take a while at those locations as well. We look every day and our mission is to get the dogs to their forever home as soon as possible. When the flight is offered, we will always ask you if the date and time works for you as the adopter. All this is communicated in the group interview every step of the way.
It seems like it would be a long flight for a dog. Is it safe for them to fly?
We have flown more than 1,000 dogs to the U.S. without incident. All dogs are provided food and water for their flight, and we do our best to ensure safe travels with the help of our couriers. We also advise all new owners to spend time after their long flight for them to walk around and stretch. For these dogs, the flight is worth it in the long run if it means it’s bringing them to a safe and loving home. These dogs are tougher than we give them credit for!
What should I bring with me when I pick up my dog at the airport?
- Baby wipes (sometimes the dogs will soil themselves in the crate)
- Ruffwear harness (recommended)
- Fi tracking dog collar (required)
- Water & bowl
- Dry food (we supply the brands we feed prior to the travel date)
- High-value treats such as wet dog food, cut-up hot dogs, deli meat, freeze-dried liver, or other choice meaty items to entice nervous dogs from their kennel
- Pocket knife or scissors (to cut the zip ties and crate on the dog’s crate)
- Clean towels/blankets
What is the process for picking up the dog at the airport?
If the dogs fly with a flight courier (a volunteer who flies with the dog), they will come out with your dog at the arrival terminal of international flights after the customs process. If flown via cargo, you will need to go to a separate cargo building at the airport to get the dog. During the interview process, we will walk you through all the details.
- You can let the dog out but will need something to cut the plastic band tied to keep the crate safe (which is why the pocket knife or scissors comes in handy)
- Usually, there’s an area outside the airport for the to relieve themselves. Take the dog there and let them decompress for at least 30 minutes before heading back home
- During decompression, they’ll need to have some water/food as well since they’re not fed 12 hours prior to flight, plus they have spent approximately 15 hours in the crate during travel
- The crates the dogs arrive in are purchased in Korea and are yours to keep.
- Please note: This crate should NOT be used for kenneling or confining the dog in the home.
- Most dogs prefer to sit in the back seat out of the crate on their way home.
For Dogs Flying VIA Courier:
- Pickup is in the Arrival terminal
- Make a bag with these items listed above and take it with you when you go to meet the courier
- Dogs will clear customs INSIDE the baggage area with the passenger (an approximately 1-hour process).
- When the courier walks out with the dog, don’t forget to get the vet papers from the courier. Depending on the airline and destination airport, these papers may also be attached to the crate.
For Dogs Flying VIA Cargo
- Pickup is at a separate Cargo Building (Dog will arrive at the airline Cargo office – NOT the passenger arrival)
**If it’s a hot day, it helps to pack the water in an ice chest to keep it cool. It’ll take up to 3 hours for the dogs to clear customs and sometimes the water gets warm.
- The process can take up to 3 hours:
- 1 hour to unload
- 1 hour to process papers and clear customs (maybe more for delays)
- The cargo office will let you know where to go to clear customs (another approx. 1-hour wait)
- The cargo department will charge a processing fee of approximately $100 ($300 for LAX) that you pay as cash/check. Please note this is additional to the cargo fee for flying the dog from South Korea. You must check with the cargo office prior to picking up the dogs.