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Hello, all!

I wanted to share my wonderful experience rescuing a dog from South Korea. I live in Northern California and poodles are highly in demand here for rescue. I knew back in August 2019 that I was ready to start searching for my own dog. I had graduated from college in May and had started a great job that had a dog-friendly office. Seemed like the perfect time to get my own red poodle. :)

I searched for months, put in a few applications, and even went to a shelter only narrowly miss adopting an available poodle. I almost gave up and was extremely dejected; I just wanted my own poodle to love and care for. On Halloween night, I suddenly found a 2-year-old light red boy named Bonggu on Petfinder. Without hesitation, I applied for him and heard back a few hours later (at 2:30 am LOL). I had been the first person to apply for him and I found out he was arriving from South Korea on Sunday (it was Friday). In less than 24 hours after seeing him on the site, I was approved for adoption. Even though I didn't see anything but a few pictures and no videos, I decided to take the leap and adopt him. It just felt right.

I picked him up from SFO airport on Sunday. He immediately bonded to me and I cried in the car. I knew all the rejections I had faced the months prior led me to him.

I've had him for over 10 months at this point and I am confident he is my heart dog. He is extremely sweet, friendly, cuddly, and a ray of sunshine. He is a very happy dog despite his past. His family abandoned him at the vet's office because they didn't want to pay for his vet bills after he was hospitalized. He was less than 2 years old when he was abandoned.

Bonggu is 3 years old, light red, around 11-13 lbs, and a purebred miniature poodle. He has beautiful markings; his chest is half white and his paws have white markings as well. He loves to travel and has been on 5 plane rides so far. We are moving to Germany next month so within a year he has lived in 3 countries. :)

I am so happy I decided to stay patient. I ended up finding my dream dog who is my whole heart. If anyone has any questions on rescuing from Korea or China, please let me know. :) I've connected a few families to other (red) poodles.

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It seems is was meant to be 馃挄 There have been a lot of posts recently from people hoping to adopt red minis. Maybe they'll find encouragement in your story.
 

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Congratulations on your new family member. He's adorable. Poodles have always been very popular Korea. My wife says Bong-gu is a country name. There s a very active rescue community in Korea, mostly breed rescues. My wife and I watch a show where Korean celebrities foster and then place rescued dogs - many find their way to the US and Canada. I had the pleasure of sitting next to a woman on a flight back from Seoul who was returning with a rescued Yorkie. She travels back and forth bringing rescues to the states a couple times a year. Dog ownership in Korea has grown exponentially over the past 20 years. Unfortunately, just like here, the number of dogs in need of a home has grown as well.
Enjoy Germany - where there are few places you can't take your dog.
 

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I know you stated you used petfinder, but we鈥檙e you looking to rescue a poodle from a country in Asia specifically? Did you use any other sites that were foreign? I鈥檝e always wanted to know the process of buying a dog from a different country and how it is reliable.
 

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Quite a K drama with a happy ending. I wonder if you had found PF earlier, whether we might have helped you find a red poodle in the States. It might not have been such a long flight. Still, cue the cherry blossoms or snow falling for a 鈥渇irst poodle love鈥.鉂
 

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His family abandoned him at the vet's office because they didn't want to pay for his vet bills after he was hospitalized. He was less than 2 years old when he was abandoned.
I'm curious - does he have any ongoing medical issues?

Congratulations on finding your "heart dog" :)
 

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If I have transliterated correctly (bonggu to 氪夑惮), then it is an old style/fashioned boys name. Or, it could be the name of a bar chain bonggu beer (氪夑惮牍勳柎).


Absolutely no relevance! I love the look of bong gu, and as Happy's dad pointed out dog ownership and the good things as well as the problems with it have grown hugely here!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I
It seems is was meant to be 馃挄 There have been a lot of posts recently from people hoping to adopt red minis. Maybe they'll find encouragement in your story.
It definitely was <3 I hope so! It isn't easy but the struggle pays off. :)
 

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Congratulations on your new family member. He's adorable. Poodles have always been very popular Korea. My wife says Bong-gu is a country name. There s a very active rescue community in Korea, mostly breed rescues. My wife and I watch a show where Korean celebrities foster and then place rescued dogs - many find their way to the US and Canada. I had the pleasure of sitting next to a woman on a flight back from Seoul who was returning with a rescued Yorkie. She travels back and forth bringing rescues to the states a couple times a year. Dog ownership in Korea has grown exponentially over the past 20 years. Unfortunately, just like here, the number of dogs in need of a home has grown as well.
Enjoy Germany - where there are few places you can't take your dog.
Thank you so much! :) I was actually inspired to get a red poodle after my first trip to Japan. I almost bought one when went to Korea but I didn't want to support a puppy mill.

That is so interesting! What is the name of the show? I'd love to watch it. I love seeing Korean dogs live brand new lives here. I think the issue with all the dogs in Korea is that it's so easy to buy one from a pet shop when they're small and cute. But once they're older, they realize it's a real responsibility and end up abandoning them. There are so many high kill shelters in Korea. So sad. Thank you for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
He is such a cute boy.

For someone who might wish to go a similar adoption route, do you have any advice for weeding out possible scams? Is there a specific rescue organization that you'd recommend?
Thank you :)

I haven't seen any scams in the rescue community. But I think that a lot of people buy small, poorly bred puppies from Korea for thousands and they're usually from puppy mills. I adopted Bonggu from No one said it would be easy, they only said it would be worth it. - Love second chances. They rarely have poodles but sometimes they pop up. I got some leads from social media. I follow someone on Instagram named Karen Gifford (Login 鈥 Instagram). She used to have a lot of red poodles available from China. However, the poodles from China seem to have a lot more health problems. I got incredibly lucky with my poodle. He wasn't on the streets or didn't go through any major trauma like some of the other rescues I've seen (including my own older poodle). It's a bit harder to rescue right now but it's still definitely possible!

If you're in the LA area, Joey and Bailey frequently has poodles too! (Login 鈥 Instagram)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I know you stated you used petfinder, but we鈥檙e you looking to rescue a poodle from a country in Asia specifically? Did you use any other sites that were foreign? I鈥檝e always wanted to know the process of buying a dog from a different country and how it is reliable.
I was definitely leaning on adopting a dog from Asia because I honestly had pretty strict requirements. I wanted a red miniature or toy poodle, less than 3 years old. I looked for months here and didn't find anything. I started seeing a bunch of red poodles from China and Taiwan on Petfinder. Usually, the dogs are already here or go through reputable organizations. Bonggu's rescue has rescued a few thousand dogs so I found them reputable :) but other rescues may not be as much. His rescue's process was pretty standard with the only exception being that it was more geared towards first come first serve. Most rescues I've seen are so competitive and make you jump through many hoops to get on the short list lol. Here was the process: Adoption Process - Love second chances
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Quite a K drama with a happy ending. I wonder if you had found PF earlier, whether we might have helped you find a red poodle in the States. It might not have been such a long flight. Still, cue the cherry blossoms or snow falling for a 鈥渇irst poodle love鈥.鉂
LOL, I agree. Thank you :)

His life could be a movie. I have been on PF for around 8 years! I took a long hiatus when I went off to college. :) I tried for a few months to find a red poodle here, both breeders and rescue, to not much luck. He has another long flight in a month to Germany but it'll be in cabin so a bit easier. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm curious - does he have any ongoing medical issues?

Congratulations on finding your "heart dog" :)
Thank you!! :D

Thankfully he does not! He is incredibly healthy knock on wood and has an awesome conformation. Very energetic, happy, gets the zoomies a few times a day. The only issue I had was he wasn't gaining weight. He was quite skinny when he arrived (spine was sticking out). He has a fast metabolism so it took a while for him to get to a normal weight.

I'm not entirely sure why he was hospitalized. Initially, I was actually told by the rescue that he was a puppy mill breeding dog and was rescued when he was no longer of use. They told me he had lived his entire life in a wire cage. However, it was evident in his behavior and friendliness with everyone he met that this wasn't the case. I did further probing to get the actual story and they must've mixed up the story because he had a family before. They rescue so many dogs that it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If I have transliterated correctly (bonggu to 氪夑惮), then it is an old style/fashioned boys name. Or, it could be the name of a bar chain bonggu beer (氪夑惮牍勳柎).


Absolutely no relevance! I love the look of bong gu, and as Happy's dad pointed out dog ownership and the good things as well as the problems with it have grown hugely here!
That is interesting! Is it a common dog name? I like that his name is also a beer name :D I have also been told that if his name is pronounced incorrectly, it can mean the word "fart" (氚╆穩) 馃ぃ

Thank you!! I have heard that as well... When I went to Seoul, I almost visited Chungmuro pet street. It seems very easy to buy a puppy so that may also be part of the problem. :( regardless I am so happy my Bong-gu is safe and happy here!
 

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Reds and apricots are hard to come by and I think they鈥檙e becoming pretty popular! I鈥檓 glad you found your pup.
 

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Thank you :)

I haven't seen any scams in the rescue community. But I think that a lot of people buy small, poorly bred puppies from Korea for thousands and they're usually from puppy mills. I adopted Bonggu from No one said it would be easy, they only said it would be worth it. - Love second chances. They rarely have poodles but sometimes they pop up. I got some leads from social media. I follow someone on Instagram named Karen Gifford (Login 鈥 Instagram). She used to have a lot of red poodles available from China. However, the poodles from China seem to have a lot more health problems. I got incredibly lucky with my poodle. He wasn't on the streets or didn't go through any major trauma like some of the other rescues I've seen (including my own older poodle). It's a bit harder to rescue right now but it's still definitely possible!

If you're in the LA area, Joey and Bailey frequently has poodles too! (Login 鈥 Instagram)
Thank you! I'll bookmark those groups.

Rescue scams are rampant in the United States, unfortunately. And getting worse:


It's helpful to hear firsthand from folks who've navigated the process successfully.
 

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People definitely need to be careful when rescuing dogs from other countries. We had a rescue in my state bring in dogs from a meat farm in South Korea a year or so ago, and the dogs needed to be put down due to incurable disease...it was either that or lifetime quarantine. Some had been adopted out and needed to be returned. That also put healthy dogs exposed to those dogs at risk, because what these dogs had is highly contagious.
 

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Hello, all!

I wanted to share my wonderful experience rescuing a dog from South Korea. I live in Northern California and poodles are highly in demand here for rescue. I knew back in August 2019 that I was ready to start searching for my own dog. I had graduated from college in May and had started a great job that had a dog-friendly office. Seemed like the perfect time to get my own red poodle. :)

I searched for months, put in a few applications, and even went to a shelter only narrowly miss adopting an available poodle. I almost gave up and was extremely dejected; I just wanted my own poodle to love and care for. On Halloween night, I suddenly found a 2-year-old light red boy named Bonggu on Petfinder. Without hesitation, I applied for him and heard back a few hours later (at 2:30 am LOL). I had been the first person to apply for him and I found out he was arriving from South Korea on Sunday (it was Friday). In less than 24 hours after seeing him on the site, I was approved for adoption. Even though I didn't see anything but a few pictures and no videos, I decided to take the leap and adopt him. It just felt right.

I picked him up from SFO airport on Sunday. He immediately bonded to me and I cried in the car. I knew all the rejections I had faced the months prior led me to him.

I've had him for over 10 months at this point and I am confident he is my heart dog. He is extremely sweet, friendly, cuddly, and a ray of sunshine. He is a very happy dog despite his past. His family abandoned him at the vet's office because they didn't want to pay for his vet bills after he was hospitalized. He was less than 2 years old when he was abandoned.

Bonggu is 3 years old, light red, around 11-13 lbs, and a purebred miniature poodle. He has beautiful markings; his chest is half white and his paws have white markings as well. He loves to travel and has been on 5 plane rides so far. We are moving to Germany next month so within a year he has lived in 3 countries. :)

I am so happy I decided to stay patient. I ended up finding my dream dog who is my whole heart. If anyone has any questions on rescuing from Korea or China, please let me know. :) I've connected a few families to other (red) poodles.

View attachment 469226
View attachment 469227
Awwww! He is adorable! What a story. He was meant to be with you.
 
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