Ginger’s Pet Rescue: Saving Death Row Dogs

 

Over the past 15 years, Ginger’s Pet Rescue has saved over 18,000 dogs from all over the world. Iran, Korea, Mexico, Thailand, and the United States are just a few places they have been to save a dog in need. 

Founder of Ginger’s Pet Rescue, Ginger Luke, rescued her first dog in January of 2006. “I started the pet rescue by delivering a hamburger to a guy in the trailer park and found abusing his doxie, I offered him a free meal plus $50 for the dog and he handed him over to me,” said Ginger in an email. 

After taking the dog to the vet she began looking for a good home for the animal. “After posting him, 10 people wanted him so I adopted him out to a woman who was deaf and Buddy became her service dog.” Once Ginger found Buddy a home she helped the other nine people who wanted a dog but didn’t want to go to the shelter. As a result, she worked on rescuing dogs and matching them up with loving homes. 

The Seattle based rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is one of the largest non-profit pet rescue organizations in Washington state who specialize in saving Death Row Dogs.

Since January of this year, they have been able to save and adopt out over 703 dogs to loving families. Of the 703 dogs, 293 came from California, 80 from Mexico, 53 from Taiwan, and 277 from Korea. 

Many of the dogs they save are living in packed cages at slaughter farms in Korea. According to Humane Society International (HSI), dogs are intensively farmed for human consumption. They are given little food, usually no water, and live outdoors in small cages with no protection from the hot summers or brutally cold winters. Many suffer from disease and malnutrition and all are subjected to daily, extreme neglect. Electrocution is one of the most common methods to kill the dogs, according to the article. 

That’s one reason why Davies believes Ginger’s Pet Rescue is so crucial, “This rescue is extremely important, it cannot afford to fail because it does too much good.” 

If they aren’t able to physically bring the dogs back, they will partner up with rescue groups overseas to provide things like vaccinations, food, wheelchairs, and microchips for tracking. 

The rescue is mostly operated by a group of 10-15 retired women who have a passion for animals. “It’s a true passion for people like Ginger and me,” said Sian Davies, CEO of Ginger’s Pet Rescue. 

Surprisingly enough, the organization doesn’t actually have a physical shelter location. They rely heavily on fosters in and around the Seattle area to host the dogs during their transition from rescue to adoption. Before the dog’s arrival, the rescue will sponsor to have the dogs spayed and neutered.  

According to Davies, many people don’t truly understand how expensive the process is to save these animals. “International dogs have many more medical problems when rescued,” said Davies. The rescue relies on adoption fees and donations to provide help and care for each dog’s needs. At any given time, the rescue can have over 100 dogs in their care. According to their website, over 90% of every dollar generated goes to the rescue of the animals. 

Davies believes the average dog in their care needs between $2,000-$5,000 of medical expenses and travel. 

Currently, they are hoping to possibly expand their operations and open a building either in Snohomish or near Sea-tac airport where they can house the dogs and possibly hold adoptions events and educate people in the surrounding community. “I believe it will happen, I just don’t know when,” said Davies. The project would be expensive so they are in the works to hopefully have fundraisers soon. So, if you’d like to support the rescue and donate to the wellbeing of these animals and to the future expansion of Ginger’s Pet Rescue, click here.

During the tough times of COVID-19, the rescue has had to adapt their strategy to help the animals but they are still working around the clock. “Without adopters, we couldn’t do any of this, we can’t move dogs out if we can’t give them homes,” said Davies. The rescue is in need of big dog fosters, so if you’d like to learn more about how to become a foster or to volunteer, click here. 

 

Daniel Albert is an award-winning journalist studying Integrated Strategic Communications at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.