West New York resident Kristen Edmonds didn’t need much encouragement to help when she heard about the plight of a 7-year-old Korean Jindo who needed a home.
Edmonds has dedicated a number of years to helping rescue this breed of dog, and is the founder and head of Treasured K9s, the only group on the East Coast dedicated to the breed.
The dog’s owner is a decorated U.S. Marine veteran from Baltimore, who was diagnosed with terminal Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS; often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease), and can no longer care for the animal.
Edmonds founded Treasured K9s, Inc. in June 2008 to rescue and find new homes for Korean Jindo dogs. Hers is one of two organizations in the nation dedicated to the Jindo, she said.
She started in California
Edmonds, who served on the Board of Directors for the Jindo Project, Inc. for a time, began her rescue career working with Siberian Husky Rescues, in California. While in living in California in 2004, Edmonds fostered a “White Siberian Husky mix” that turned out to be a Jindo.
“When I got the call the person said it was a white Siberian Husky mix,” Edwards recalled. “It didn’t look exactly like a Husky. We thought it might be a rare Asian breed, possibly Japanese. We decided to take it anyway.”
Kristen’s mother-in-law is Korean came in and saw the dog and said it looked like a dog she knew back in Korea.
“We did some research on the breed and decided to dedicate ourselves to the Jindo,” Edmonds said. “At the time there were two Jindo rescue organizations in the United States. Both were in California which has the largest Korean population in the U.S.”
“He would be good with kids six or seven or older.” -- Kristen Edmonds
“Many people didn’t take responsibility for the dogs once they were here,” she said.
So she became involved in the Jindo Project, but this is no longer very active. She relocated to the New York City area in 2006 and continued her efforts, eventually founding Treasured K9s in 2008.
Jindos are growing in numbers throughout the U.S. and unfortunately, are also ending up in animal shelters with increasing frequency. Jindo rescue as a whole consists of only a handful of people throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a result, only a small fraction of Jindos are saved from dying unnecessarily in shelters. Foster homes are always the greatest need, but volunteers in all capacities are needed to increase the ability of Treasured K9s to save dogs.
Treasured K9s to the rescue
Edmonds said when she heard about a Jindo in Baltimore in need of a home she reached out to New York’s Dog Whisperer Jeff Kolbjornsen, founder of a canine rehabilitation center in New York in an effort to help.
She hoped to find Elkea, a young, 7-year-old male purebred Korean Jindo a temporary home until a permanent home is secured.
The matter became more urgent when Edmonds learned that the dog’s owner – due to declining health – was going to relocate to a remote section of North Carolina. Edmonds said she is dedicated to finding the right home for Elkea.
The dog weighs about 44 pounds, stands approximately thirty-two inches from the bottom of his paw to the top of his head, and can even respond to commands in Korean. Up to date on his shots and recently neutered, young Elkea (the breed has an extensive life span of 18-plus years), Edmonds said, is the perfect dog for an owner seeking to be introduced to the breed. He enjoys getting his beautiful medium reddish brown fur brushed and loves people. The dog loves going for walks, playing with toys, fetching a ball or even playing Frisbee.
Elkea is a very good dog, but needs to be in a home where he is the only pet, Edmonds said.
A bit standoffish at first until he gets to know you, Elkea is very active, playful, and mischievous, she said.
“He would be good with kids six or seven or older,” she said.
Adopting the dog long distance isn’t a problem, but she said she would want the prospective owners to come meet the dog in person.
“We want people to show a commitment, and willingness to travel to meet the dog is a good sign,” she said.
Those interested can fill out the application on the group’s website. Edmonds said the group screens applicants, looking to get a read on the people adopting for the best possible match.
“We play matchmaker,” she said. “Then we call and set up a time for them to meet. We also do a home visit.”
If you are interested in adopting Elkea, please visit www.treasuredk9s.org to submit an adoption application or email email@example.com.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.