To The Editor of The Korea Observer,
In California, USA, I am the proud new guardian of one of the 57 dogs rescued from a dog meat farm in South Korea in March. ‘Sunshine Lola’, a 4-month-old Jindo-mix puppy was rescued from Mr. Lee Tae-hyun’s farm in central South Korea that was closed as part of Change For Animals Foundation’s and Humane Society International’s campaign to end the dog meat industry.
Mr. Lee Tae-hyun’s choice to start farming peppers and to cease participating in the dog meat industry has been shared widely over the San Francisco Bay Area news. Many people have stopped me on the street to say that they recognize Sunshine from the news.
I am extremely grateful that Sunshine’s life has been spared thanks to the choice that Mr. Lee Tae-hyun made to stop farming dogs for meat. It took a lot of strength and courage after 20 years to change his career path to begin growing peppers instead of farming dogs.
The choice he made is incredibly significant, important and meaningful on an international scale. His decision has changed the trajectory of innumerable dogs’ lives and has the potential to help even more in the future.
One article stated Mr. Lee’s mother waved at one group of dogs as they left the farm. “I pray they’ll live well in the U.S.” she said. Please let his mother know that her prayers have been answered.
Sunshine is our treasured new family member, best friend, teacher and embodiment of pure love. There is a high demand to adopt the dogs from South Korean dog meat farms because their story evokes compassion in so many of us.
The San Francisco SPCA, where I adopted her from, told me that they received phone calls from all over the United States from people who wanted her. I am incredibly lucky and honored to have her in our home.
As more dog meat farms close in the future, be assured that there are loving homes waiting for the dogs on the other side of their journey. We love Sunshine beyond words.
The 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang are three years away. Before the international media arrives, this is an incredible opportunity for South Korea to make a proactive, significant and positive change when more dog meat farmers follow in the footsteps of Mr. Lee Tae-hyun.
I am very grateful that Mr. Lee Tae-hyun will be speaking out as a leader to other dog meat farmers to follow his noble path.
His positive influence on other farmers to save the lives of more dogs matters. His willingness to make a constructive and tangible change is an inspiration to us all.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the ways its animals are treated.” –Mahatma Gandhi
San Francisco, CA
Sunshine’s Instagram account of her new life is: SunshineMyLifeInTheSunshine