The Board of Directors of Fox Valley Humane Association has accepted Debby Lewis’ decision to retire as Executive Director as of February 28th, 2018. On behalf of the entire FVHA community, the Board would like to thank Debby for her years of leadership and commitment to meeting the diverse needs of both people and animals alike, and wishes her well in her retirement.
The FVHA board and staff are working closely to ensure that the important mission of FVHA continues to be carried out seamlessly. During this time of transition, Amy Christensen and Vicki Prey will be sharing management responsibilities for FVHA with direct oversight from the Board of Directors to ensure that day to day operations continue as usual.
Moving forward, the Board and FVHA staff will continue to build on this strong foundation –strengthening existing programs, nurturing community relationships, ensuring financial stability, and implementing new initiatives–all with the goal of improving the lives of people and animals throughout the Fox Valley.
In the United States of America, as they do in every country and culture, diets and food choices change over time as new generations and traditions come about. This has been the case in South Korea, where historically dog meat has been considered to be a commonly accepted food. Just as there has been a growing number of vegans and vegetarians here in the states, more and more Koreans no longer choose to partake in dog meat and are supportive in closing down dog meat farms and finding humane placement for the dogs. Understanding that the farmers are losing their livelihood when their farms are closed, HSI is assisting the farmers in transitioning to another means of income such as farming crops, water delivery, or helping them retire. The conditions the dogs endure daily on these farms are deplorable and the suffering and misery is immense. HSI’s farm closures act as a “model of change” that the South Korean government could adopt to put an end to the dog meat trade, and help the farmers move into a new, useful trade that benefits South Korean society. The Fox Valley Humane Association is proud to be part of the Emergency Placement Partnership. This means that we have a responsibility to help the network of shelters who come together in situations such as this so that no one shelter or community becomes overwhelmed or overextended. HSI and HSUS, and the partnership of all of these shelters these dogs from the Korean meat farms would have had zero chance of survival after the farms closed.
Last week we took 7 of the 170 dogs which were rescued from the 10th dog meat farm that HSI closed in Korea. HSI quarantined the dogs on site in Korea before transporting them to the US. The dogs arrived at FVHA in the Bark Bus on Monday, December 4.
The Korean dogs are various breeds and ages, and while all require medical care and socialization, some need more than others. All of them will be on quarantine at FVHA initially, regardless of their other needs, although it is unlikely that any will be immediately up for adoption after their quarantine. Dogs from the meat farms exist in tiny cages with wire bottoms, elevated above the ground, exposed to all of the elements and living among their own filth. They did not get positive human interaction so will need a lot of patient socialization before they are comfortable enough to go to their loving forever homes. We will continue to keep you updated on their progress and are grateful for your support as we partner with shelters and agencies across the country and world to help these resilient dogs!