Last year, Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton began its partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in their mission to rescue dogs from certain death in the South Korean meat trade.
It is estimated that 2 million dogs a year are raised on farms for human consumption. Dogs are kept in barren cages without food, water or access to medical care until they are ultimately inhumanely killed, usually by electrocution or hanging. HSUS and their international rescue, Humane Society International (HSI), created an innovative program that works with Korean farmers to surrender the animals and then helps the farmers begin more humane and profitable livelihoods.
In July 2021, Baypath received its first four rescues from HSUS. When the dogs arrived, they were shy, timid and hesitant to approach the staff. We needed to allow them – and the eight that followed – a decompression period to get used to the sights, smells, and sounds in the shelter environment. While each dog is different, it usually takes at least two weeks for them to begin to destress. We keep their world small. If they have doggy friends, we let them stay together, we use food puzzles and toys for enrichment, all positive reinforcement, and eventually we do gain their trust.
We then introduce them to more people (staff and volunteers). We need to get them used to a collar and have them practice walking on a leash. We want them to gain confidence and become outgoing pups ready to be someone’s beloved pet.
Through this structured positive reinforcement decompression program, we have successfully found loving homes 10 of the 12 rescued dogs. We are currently looking for a home for our remaining two guests, a very sweet, bonded pair named Maia and Max.
Maia and Max were both very shy when they arrived and we learned that handsome Max, 2, and beautiful Maia, 3, find comfort in each other and can achieve so much as a team. Each of them is confident in different areas and helps the other overcome their apprehension to gain confidence and trust.
Max gives everyone the best hugs and Maia can melt you with her gentle kisses. They both love to wrestle, play with toys, and go on walks together with our volunteers.
As we continue our search for a forever home for Maia and Max, we are enjoying updates from the dogs that have already found homes. They all have acclimated to living in a home and are thriving!
Here are just a few of the notes we’ve received from their new families:
Liam and Nelly were adopted in October 2021. Even though they are a bonded pair, shortly after arriving in the home, Liam and Nelly also bonded individually to their owners. Their family says, “they are doing well and are coming out of their shells with us more and more lately, and other people to a pleasantly surprising extent as well.” Liam and Nelly love being on the couch, watching the “neighborhood happenings.” They have also become quite the talk of the neighborhood as the neighbors have started to meet them and love to watch them play.
One of our first Korean dogs to be adopted out last summer, Ode, only took a few weeks to completely settle into her new home. Her family was amazed at how quickly Ode (now Luna) learned routines. She puts herself to bed in her crate! They stated that out of all of the rescues they have adopted, Luna has been the easiest of them all.
Lou Ann’s adopter told us, “She is also one of the friendliest and sweetest dogs I have ever met. She gets complimented a lot by my friends, family, or people we meet on walking trails or at breweries on how sweet and beautiful she is.”
It is amazing how resilient these dogs are. Through Baypath’s expert decompression and positive reinforcement program, these dogs have successfully adapted to life here in the U.S. and their new families. Every single one of our adopters has been very happy bringing these dogs into their lives.
If you’d like to learn more about Maia and Max — or any of the other wonderful dogs available for adoption —- check out: https://baypathhumane.org/available-dogs/.
Success story photos of the adopted animals are available upon request.