The International Aid for Korean Animals is a non-profit organization founded by Kyenan Kum in 1997 for the purpose of raising funds to promote animal protection and humane education in Korea. Based in California, IAKA is registered with both the state and federal governments (#94-3255699).
Because Korea provides a particularly difficult environment for animals, there is a great need for such an organization as IAKA. Although there are thousands of animals in need of shelter, good homes and medical treatment in Korea, fundraising is extremely difficult there. Without expenditures it is nearly impossible to raise public support and awareness for animal welfare issues. For a source of funds we must, therefore, reach out to the broad-based international community for the specific support of Korean animals.
IAKA’s primary focus and fundraising efforts have shifted, with careful thought and consideration, towards humane education within Korea. The goal is to promote a deep compassion, appreciation and understanding of animals by changing the Korean public’s attitudes and values.
In adherence to this goal, IAKA will build an Adoption and Education Center in or near Seoul to the highest Western standards. The Center will provide a comfortable, clean and safe environment in which to learn about pet care, spay and neuter, pet behavioral problems, and the cruelty linked to the dog and cat meat trade. Aside from the immediate goal of connecting revived strays with caring and prepared households, the Center will generally strive to elevate the status of dogs and cats to companion animals, and to decrease the demand for dog and cat meat.
Although campaigning and protesting the Korean government over the last seventeen years has resulted in a certain level of success, and the overhaul of the Animal Protection Law is a shining example, the approach does not get at the root of the problem. The supply of dog and cat meat will exist if the demand exists. Only when people’s perceptions of the other species changes will the illegal meat markets and the horrific animal cruelty vanish.
Aside from Kyenan Kum and one part-time staff member, IAKA functions due to the admirable support of volunteers the world over.