By Joseph Wolkin and Daniel Gatta
Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center is actively searching for new homes for 10 dogs who arrived in Huntington on Feb. 27 after a 14-hour flight from South Korea.
The shelter had been monitoring the condition and location of the dogs for approximately one month. Bringing the dogs to America and enabling them to stay in the shelter has led to the organization’s search for money to help pay for the travel arrangements.
“It was several thousand dollars to get those 10 dogs here, probably about $4,000 just for the trip alone,” Little Shelter Executive Director David Ceely said. “Between brokers fees, transporting fees, and everything together we are pushing right around $5,000 to get these 10 dogs to safety.”
This is the second time in two years Little Shelter has rescued a group of dogs from Asia.
This specific group of dogs was rescued by the Soi Dog Foundation based in Thailand. Little Shelter worked closely with Soi Dog to bring them to the United States late last month.
The dogs are being sheltered in the rescue’s isolation room. They are quarantined for at least two weeks while being tended to by the staff, along with receiving treatment for possible diseases.
Since the shelter is a no-kill, the dogs will stay in the Huntington facility until they find the perfect home. However, for ill dogs, they are sent to a sanctuary to live out the remaining portion of their lives.
“We had been working on that rescue for over a month,” Rowan Daray, public relations and marketing coordinator at Little Shelter, said. “We had been in contact with the people in South Korea to get the ball rolling and prepare for their arrival. A couple days prior to their arrival we had to clean and prep the isolation room to make sure it was ready for them.”
Rescues like this are extremely complicated. Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton acknowledged how these unique opportunities only come around once in awhile.
“Our shelter has dogs primarily from Long Island, South Carolina, Texas and parts of the Caribbean,” Linda Macdonald said. “We rarely rescue dogs from overseas, but when we have in the past it has been from Thailand, where if not for us the dogs would’ve been sold at a street festival.”
Many animal rescue centers, including Little Shelter, feel responsible to help dogs in need. Improving the lives of dogs, whether it’s one, 10 or 100, is what motivates them to pursue these global rescues.
“You see dogs and cats come in from all different conditions and backgrounds and one of the best things is knowing that when they step through this gate, they will be getting everything they’ve never had before,” Daray said. “For a lot of them, it’s the best thing that has ever happened to them.”