FAQ's – Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can I expect when adopting a dog meat trade survivor? Are they difficult?

A: We have successfully homed 800+ survivors in the US. Most easily transition into their new lives while others experience challenges. At every step of the way, DoVE Project and our community of volunteers and adopters are here to support you, answer questions, share our personal experiences, and much more.


Q: Where are your dogs located?

A: The majority of our dogs are in shelters in S. Korea. We do not have a shelter in the US. We have a limited number of dogs in foster homes in Southern California - these dogs are indicated on our Adopt-A-Pet page with an “In LA!” after their name.


Q: Do you adopt dogs outside of Southern California?

A: Our policy is that we do not adopt dogs outside of southern CA. We give each of our pups a Lifetime Promise to ensure they are always in a safe and loving environment. Because our organization is based in Los Angeles, this allows us to be actively involved in the lives of our dogs and address situations as needed. 


Q: What is the current timeline for Adopters or Fosters?

A: COVID-19 has significantly impacted our operations – in particular it has affected our ability to transport pups to the US in our usual timely manner. Pre-COVID, an average waiting period between Application Approval and transportation via Flight Volunteers to LAX was 2 weeks. There has now been a significant decline in travelers to the US resulting in very few Flight Volunteers. We are unable to estimate the waiting period at this time. However, we are working diligently to expedite the process as best we can and get our pups here as quickly as possible. We do our best to provide our adoptive and foster families with updated photos and videos of their pups as they patiently wait to be united.


Q: Are there any other options for bringing our pup to the US sooner?

A: Cargo is an option (based on airline availability) but this can be a very costly alternative for adopters. If an adopter chooses to invest the amount for cargo transport DoVE Project will waive the adoption fee in full to lessen the financial burden for the adopters. As of November 2020, the timeline for cargo transport is two to six weeks. Please note - cargo fees are non-refundable.


Q: What is the cost of the cargo option?

A: The cost can fluctuate depending on the airline’s current cargo rates, the size and weight of the dog, and import fees. If you would like to explore this option, please discuss the cost directly with your Adoption Coordinator. 


Q: What’s the difference between a dog traveling with a Flight Volunteer or via cargo?

A: Dogs traveling via cargo are in the same section of the plane as the dogs that are transported as excess baggage via Flight Volunteer. We only use Korean Air or Asiana Air because there is a secure, live animal cargo section that is separate from the baggage cargo area. This Live Animal Cargo is fully air pressure and temperature controlled exactly the same as the cabin for the entire duration of the flight. 


Q: Do the puppies come with their veterinary records?

A: Yes! All of our puppies come with up to date vaccinations and a vet passport that the adopter receives. These vaccinations include rabies, DHPPL series, Corona series, Kennel Cough Series, and Canine Influenza series. Our dogs are dewormed and receive flea treatment when necessary. Our dogs are tested for heartworm as needed. If the dogs are found to be infected, they are treated prior to arrival. If they arrive within 3 months of completing treatment, DoVE Project will schedule and pay for a follow-up exam.


Q: Are the dogs microchipped?

A: Yes! Every dog is microchipped. Once the 2-week trial is over, the adopter can request that ownership be transferred to them. DoVE Project will always be on the dog’s microchip as the rescue. If the dog ever gets lost, we will be contacted if they are not able to reach the adopter.


Q: Will my dog arrive spayed or neutered?

A:Dogs older than 6 months will be spayed/neutered prior to departing S. Korea.


Q: Why do I need to send home photos?

A: We want to make sure that our dog is going to a home environment that is safe and secure. We request pictures of the interior and exterior areas (when applicable) of the home including anywhere the dog will play, sleep, eat, and walk around. We need to make sure that there are no open gaps, low fences, or wide-spaced gates that our pups can slip through. Our dogs are fast and can be flight risks! We take the home photos very seriously and if we feel the need, we will also request a home visit. 


Q: Do you require a home inspection?

A: We do not require an in-person home inspection on every application. However, we do have the right to do a home visit within the first 12 months of placement of the dog.


Q: Are your dogs good with cats? Children?

A: Most of our dogs have not been exposed to cats or children so we cannot give an accurate assessment of how they will be with them. We’ve successfully placed many of our dogs into households with cats. Young children must be educated and supervised when they are with dogs. We believe that as long as your family members give our rescue pups the patience, time, and space that they need in the beginning, they will grow to be best friends.


Q: Are your dogs house trained?

A: Most of our dogs have been rescued from the dog meat trade. Some may have been fostered but the majority have not. Because of this, most are not housebroken. There is no way of knowing this until the dog comes home. Even a dog that is expected to be housebroken may have accidents as they adjust to their new home and life.


Q: Why is your adoption fee $950 for puppies, $900 for dogs 1-2yrs old, and $850 for dogs 2+ years old?

A: The adoption fee helps defray the cost of sheltering, vet care and vaccinations in S. Korea, as well as the cost of transportation to the US which includes airfare, crate purchase, and processing of documents for travel. Unfortunately, as a small non-profit organization, we operate on a very lean budget and are unable to negotiate the adoption fees. However, veterans are given a 15% reduction on the adoption fee and families adopting a second DoVE dog are given a 10% reduction on the adoption fee.


The adoption fee also includes a GPS enabled Fi Collar and 1 year monitoring service. This will help ensure the safety of your dog. Rescued animals can be a flight risk and from time to time we receive frantic calls from our adopters about their missing dog. This is a nerve-wracking experience for everyone and occasionally ends in tragedy. After the first 24 hours, the likelihood of finding a lost dog is greatly reduced.


Q: Why do I have to pay the adoption fee in full when I sign the Trial Adoption Agreement?

A: The DoVE dog comes direct to adopters from our shelter in S. Korea.  We do not have a shelter in the US. Every applicant is carefully vetted with the intention of finding the best match between dog and family. Paying the adoption fee up front indicates that the accepted applicant is serious, ready and has considered all aspects to bringing a new family member into the household. However, we understand that sometimes a placement does not work out.  When you receive your pup, you will begin a 2 week trial period. If within that time frame, it is determined that the placement is not ideal, you will be refunded the adoption fee minus $250 (which helps defray our costs of re-homing the dog).  However, that $250 can be applied to a future DoVE dog adoption made within a year. 


Q: If my dog is microchipped, why does he/she need a Fi Collar?

A: Microchips are not tracking devices. A microchip enables the owner to be contacted only after a lost dog is taken to a vet or animal shelter and scanned for the chip. The dog’s unique number is called into a Registry Service which then contacts the owner. A Fi Collar is a tracking collar that uses the LTE-M cellular network to communicate GPS information to an app on your phone. The pup’s location is updated in real-time on your app.


Q: Can I take my newly adopted dog to a vet of my choosing before the 2-week trial is over?

A: Yes, you may take your dog to see a vet of your choosing during this time. However, the vet visit will be at your expense.


Q: What happens if my dog gets sick during the 2-week trial?

A: In case of a life threatening emergency, go to the nearest veterinary hospital immediately and notify DoVE Project. If the dog needs non-life threatening medical attention during the trial period, we will give directions where to take the dog for an exam and if necessary, treatments. We will cover the cost of this vet visit. There is no reimbursement for vet expenses if costs were incurred without our consent.


Q:I am a current DoVE adopter and would like to adopt a second dog. Do I have to re-submit an application?

A: If the application was submitted within the last 12 months and all information remains current, a new application is not necessary. If there are any changes or the submission was more than 12 months ago, we kindly ask that they complete a new application. 


Q:What is your Lifetime Promise?

A: We understand that unforeseen events in life occur. At any time during the DoVE dog’s life, should an adopter become unable to care for their needs, we ask that you immediately contact us and we will work out a plan for rehoming. 


Q: What is the“Pre-adoption”period?

A: We offer a 2 week, pre-adoption trial period to make sure that our dog is a good fit for the home. Please remember that many of our dogs have a traumatic history. Preparation, patience, love and understanding are all necessary for their successful transition. It can take anywhere from weeks to months (and for some, even longer) for a new dog to adjust. We ask that you understand this BEFORE you apply. 


Q:What should I prepare for my new dog?

A: You will need some dog supplies! If you use Amazon, please select us as your Charity of Choice (DoVE Project - Irvine, CA - Founded in 2016). For more, please visit: smile.amazon.com.


Things to have available before your pup arrives: A martingale collar, leash (non-retractable), high-quality food, dog treats, dog bowls, toys, dog bed, and ID tag with the adopter’s information. We suggest purchasing a few different sizes of a good quality martingale collar to assure the best fit. 

It is imperative that your dog wear a martingale collar when walked outside. We can’t stress this enough. The dog’s trauma background, the arduous journey and unfamiliar faces and surroundings can all contribute to the dog being a flight risk. This is for his protection. Sudden movements and sounds can cause the dog to bolt suddenly and slip out of a regular collar and/or harness. An ID tag must always be attached to both the martingale collar and any other collar the dog may be wearing.