In March, we welcomed four beautiful Golden Retrievers – part of a group of 64 rescued from the South Korea meat market by the Humane Society International. Most of the dogs were adopted directly through their partner, the San Francisco SPCA. But Talgi, Roger, Lena and Myra had extraordinary needs that would require more time and much more one-on-one to overcome before they would be ready for forever homes. We wrote about them here.

These are dogs that had never been out of cages, and all they knew of humans was indifference and inhumane conditions. When we said we would happily accept Talgi and explained our facility, they asked if we could take another…and another…and another. We, of course, said ‘yes’ to all four.

Having never worn collars or leashes, they were transported directly from crates to our kennels. Thus began the work of their real rehabilitation. A small, dedicated group of individuals worked closely with them, introducing them to grass for the first time, gently sponge bathing them, and finally, earning enough trust to get collars and leashes on them, a vital step in their journey home.

The girls – Myra and Lena who had been used as breeders – hugged each other and the corners of the yards.

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One-year-old Talgi – now Tag – fearful and hurting with a ruptured ear membrane, hugged the ground for the first few days.

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And then, we discovered the healing powers of six-month-old Roger, who made his way from dog to dog providing reassurance, kisses, and leading by example.

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Myra – now Kono – was the first to be adopted. It took her time to feel comfortable in all but one room, but gradually – bravely – made herself at home.

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Tag – now Max – was next, helping to heal the hearts of former adopters who lost their boy too soon.

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Roger – now Buddy – was adopted to a family with two boys and enough energy to keep up with our brave, young pup.

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And finally, Lena, who turned out to be the most fragile of the group. She spent weeks with our seniors in Sugar Shack Acres where she found trusted dog companionship and gradually came to believe in humans. She found a loving and quiet home that suited her shy nature perfectly.

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Getting home was just the beginning. Each of the dogs required additional support once there. They had been carefully matched with families that understood that transformation doesn’t happen overnight. But with time, patience, and love – each dog is blossoming.

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We were honored to help with our four special needs kids when asked to lend a hand. We could do so because of the incredible facility we have built together, our devoted volunteers, and our generous supporters. In this way, you all played a vital role in this rescue effort as well. Thank you.