On February 22, the annual San Diego Collie Club dog show took place at Magee Park along Carlsbad Boulevard. The show helps raise money for the Southland Collie Rescue organization.
In addition to the judging of over 25 collies from around the southwestern U.S., both smooth and rough coats (like Lassie), most people were talking about the the rescue organization’s recent rescues from Korea.
The group got an email from a Korean dog-rescue group recently, saying a purebred collie had been found in a meat market, ready to be slaughtered. Southland Collie Rescue, based in Orange County, put out a call to its donors and quickly raised $2000 to save the dog and bring it to the U.S. for adoption. However, a Korean veterinarian was able to help the dog and get it back to decent health; an American military family stationed in Korea who fostered “Kobe” for three weeks ended up adopting him.
The collie rescuers’ Sue Baldwin said that her group received another email on February 4 from an animal shelter in Pohang, South Korea, about a starving and emaciated purebred collie taken into their shelter.
“ShinBi” was found on the streets weighing 37 pounds. Since he was so skinny, he was of no value to the meat markets, which is why he survived on the streets. He was found with a collar on, dragging a leash.
The rescue group decided they would spend the $2000 raised for Kobe on ShinBi, to bring him to the U.S. After shaving him to remove ticks and feeding him so he had some strength, ShinBi was placed in a heated cargo area aboard Asiana Airlines for a direct flight from Seoul to Los Angeles on February 20. The cargo cost was $1500. The group made a video of ShinBi's arrival at LAX.
ShinBi arrives in the U.S.A.
ShinBi’s name means “miraculous” in Korean. With all the dog has been through, the group decided not to change his name. ShinBi will remain quarantined, by federal law, for the next 30 days before being available for adoption. He is staying in Baldwin’s home.
Janine Walker-Keith said her club, which has been putting on collie shows in San Diego since 1948, started donating money to collie rescue about ten years ago.
She talked about the decline of popularity of the collie breeds, saying it was a good thing. “Popular dogs get overbred,” she said, “then they are the ones ending up in the shelters.”
Baldwin said since they can find homes for most of their rescues, they have started accepting mixed-breed collies as well, which led to their connections in Korea.
While the winners of the San Diego show will go on to compete in the big Westminster Kennel Club show in 2015, everyone seemed to agree that ShinBi was the big winner this year.