Back in January, you may have seen a story in the Albany Democratic Herald about five dogs from Korea who were accepted into SafeHaven’s “Rescue Me” program in an effort to find them adoptive homes. These five dogs were rescued by a South Korean activist, Nami Kim, who works tirelessly to shut down Korean dog meat farms.
Each year in Korea, millions of dogs are slaughtered for food. Korea is the only country in the world that commercially farms dogs for food. There are no regulations and as a result, there are no standards for safety or humane treatment. Many of these dogs are brutally tortured and warehoused in tiny cages with only human food waste to eat, little water and no shelter from the weather.
Late last year, Kim rescued 300 dogs from one of these meat farms and worked with rescue organizations like SafeHaven to find them new homes. One of those dogs, “Eggroll” or “Eggy” as she’s affectionately called, was adopted by SafeHaven’s intake receptionist, Heidi Smith.
Smith first set eyes on her new Maltese in a SafeHaven isolation kennel. It was love at first bark as Eggy ran up to the door, barked at Smith and then ran away in play. Being that it was holiday time, Smith knew what she wanted for Christmas as this little ball of fluff stole her heart immediately.
While there are little-known details about Eggy’s past, a review of her health history by the vet helped put some pieces of Eggy’s puzzle together. First, her age – Eggy is approximately nine years old. She was debarked, going through a surgical procedure called devocalization (also known as ventriculi cordectomy or vocal cordectomy), where tissue is removed from the animal’s vocal cords to permanently reduce the volume of their vocalizations. When she first arrived, Eggy was a paltry 4.5 lbs. (she now weighs 5.7 lbs. and is pronounced healthy)!
In researching Korean meat farms, Smith learned they will accept family pets that are no longer wanted. She believes this is what happened in Eggy’s situation. Someone likely paid to have her debarked and it also appears that she might have been part of a puppy mill because it was apparent that Eggy has had many, many litters of puppies. She also has a caesarean scar on her belly. She may have no longer been useful to a breeder and this might have been when she was sent to a meat farm.
While much of that is guesswork and speculation, there’s no doubt that Eggy is loving her second chance at life. She is thriving in her new home surrounded by seven cats (six SafeHaven alumni and one found stray) who outweigh her, two Yorkies and one terrier. Eggy has become the new family watchdog and is the first animal up every morning and the last one to go sleep.
“I don’t know how we got along without her. She is a doll. She is funny, loving, gets along great with the cats and the three other dogs wonderfully,” says Smith.
Smith says, “Eggy’s mantra is “Dogs Helping Dogs.” She dresses Eggy up in cute outfits (as you can see in the photos and cover), all with matching barrettes, and she is the star of the office at SafeHaven, bringing smiles and giggles to everyone she meets.
“If her little outfits help folks notice her so we can spread the message about the plight of Korean meat dogs and SafeHaven, more power to ruffles, lace and a wig or two!” says Smith.
Eggy recently became a Pet Therapy dog and will be going to local nursing homes to provide love and comfort to the residents.
We just might have to change Eggy’s mantra to “Wonder Woman” as she has truly shown that all of us, even a little dog destined for certain death at a meat farm, has a bit of Super Hero inside of us.
Eggy also has her very own Facebook page where you can keep track of how she’s doing at: https://www.facebook.com/shhsorg/.