Alex was rescued from a life of abuse in South Korea after his first two owners didn’t want him and mistreated him constantly.
His second owner kept him in a small, filthy cage where he became sick and malnourished, so he was going to abandon him on the streets.
When Craig Petronella, a US Service member stationed in South Korea, heard Alex’s story, he immediately wanted to adopt him before he was abandoned to fend for himself and escape meat traders who often take on stray dogs as their an easy target.
Petronella brought the young pup to the US with him to start a new life with him, his wife and son and their dogs. He was hoping Alex would finally start a new life with them, a happy life. But sadly it was not the case.
After a few months Alex began acting aggressively and Petronella’s wife Ines called Treasured K9s for help, the only non-profit rescue dedicated to Jindos on the East Coast.
As Kristen Edmunds, Founder of Treasured K9s, explains: “It’s become trendy for many rescue groups and individuals to rescue dogs from the South Korean meat market trade and adopt them to families in the United States. Many of these dogs have suffered unimaginable abuse and it is impossible to know how they will adjust to a home.
“While there have been great success stories with some of the adoptions, there have been many that did not work out. Because most owners do not understand the breed, many of the dogs are surrendered to shelters where they are almost always euthanized. The lucky few, like Alex, end up in rescues that have the ability to rehabilitate them.”
According to Ines, at first Alex was always scared, he would start to shiver with every movement and every noise, press his eyes shut and push his trembling body against the ground and sit paralyzed in fear.
Alex then started to deal with his constant fear with aggression. “If he couldn’t hide, he tried to attack,” Ines recounts.
The Petronellas consulted an animal behavior consultant first who explained that Alex had suffered such severe psychological trauma that he required a more experienced home to recover. That’s when Ines got in touch with Treasured K9s.
“When I received Ines’ email, I knew exactly what Alex needed and that Treasured K9s was his only hope”, said Edmonds.
“When Alex first arrived at our centre he was extremely fearful of me, had no training skills at all, and had a huge fear of the leash and collar that he was required to wear for training,” said Jeff Kolbjornsen, a dog behaviourist who works with Treasured K9s.
“The degree to which Alex bucked, screamed, and tried to get away by trying to bite was one of the more severe fear-induced demonstrations that I have seen.”
Alex, who was only 8 months old when he arrived at Treasured K9s, needed 6 months of rehabilitation, but he is finally ready for adoption now and was placed with a foster parent in the meantime. Alex is now well-behaved, plays with other dogs, obeys commands and gets on well with humans and life in general.
“Alex is proof that even the most difficult cases can and should be rehabilitated and given a second chance,” said Edmonds.
The lenghty process cost the organization $20,000, which you can help pay out by clicking here. Please visit treasuredk9s.org for more information about them, Alex, and the other dogs they have for adoption.
You can also follow Alex’s Facebook page here.