Awkwafina has a new rescue dog adopted from Korea


I love Friday pet days. And I especially love today’s because it’s a cause near and dear to my heart. Awkwafina, aka Nora Lum, just welcomed a new member to her family. Awkwafina and her amazingly talented cat, Gus, welcomed Haeng-Un, a three-year-old dog that she adopted from Korean K9 Rescue in New York. Korean K9 rescues dogs from the meat trade in South Korea and sees them welcomed into loving homes here in the states. Awkwafina, who is currently starring in Raya and the Last Dragon with Kelly Marie Tran, said on Instagram she had no intention of adopting a dog but saw the good work the organization was doing and wanted to support them. But then she met Haeng-Un and fell in love. Now he’s a member of the Lum home.

Awkwafina has a new furry friend!

The Raya and the Last Dragon star, 32, recently revealed that she adopted a pup named Haeng-Un — whom she was introduced to while working with Korean K9 Rescue, an organization based in her hometown of Queens, New York, that helps rescue dogs in South Korea.

“Everyone, meet Haeng-Un Lum, new to America and the newest member of my family,” Awkwafina, born Nora Lum, captioned photos and a video of the pooch on her Instagram.

“I first heard of @koreank9rescue, and their incredible work saving dogs from the meat trade, high-kill shelters and puppy mills in South Korea,” she continued. “Without planning on adopting a pup, I knew that I wanted to support their mission that relies on donations and flight volunteers to keep going.”

“I fell in love with this almost 3-year old nugget, and was truly moved by the care and hard work the organization does to protect these animals,” Awkwafina wrote, before urging fans to support the nonprofit.

“Welcome to the family, Haeng-Un, I love you very much,” she added.

According to an Instagram post from the rescue, Awkwafina met her new canine companion “a few weeks ago, and the rest was history.”

“We are honored to have her join the @kk9ralumni crew, and are so grateful for her support,” the organization said. “Our active alumni network is like a family, offering guidance, assistance, company, and even play dates for many of our pups. And we’re SO happy to welcome @awkwafina and Haeng-Un to the fam.”

[From People]

There is video on Awkwafina’s Instagram of Haeng-Un rolling around in the snow that is so cute, it’s almost unbearable. It looks like she attended an adoption event, which is wonderful to know that those are happening again because like in Awkwafina’s case, they have great adoption success rates. As some know, I volunteer with the DoVE-Project which does the same work as Korean K9 Rescue but here in LA. So I’m going to provide a little context about some of what Awkwafina said, because it is very important and so fantastic she’s bringing attention to it. Most organizations, especially the smaller ones, have a sister organization in Korea and that is where the dogs go once they are rescued. Getting them to the US is very expensive. Many of the dogs don’t get brought to the US unless someone has begun the adoption process. And it’s a leap of faith to adopt a pup before meeting it. These adoption events often prove successful enough that orgs will set up the flights and fosters to bring over as many dogs as possible for it. But there is a huge expense involved.

A flight volunteer is someone that agrees to sign in a dog or two as their personal property on their flight from Korea to the US. It lowers the cost to the rescue and thus the adopter considerably. We love and honor our flight volunteers. But the pandemic has been brutal for overseas animal rescue. Nobody was flying so no flight volunteers. The dogs are coming in cargo. The cost is upwards of $2500 per crate (usually two dogs per crate, size permitting) and fluctuates at the will of the airlines. Our org was waiving the adoption fee and just charging transportation fee to help with the costs. All of this is to say, if you want to help and can’t adopt or foster, consider contributing to a transportation fund within an org.

But if you want to adopt a dog, I have dogs! Don’t forget about Jin and Oliver who are here in LA. Check out their updated profiles.

This is Danny from our Oceans 11 group. – he’s in LA so no transportation costs! Danny’s currently 8 months old and living in a foster home. He’s great with other dogs and pets. And look at that face.

And this is Whitney. Whitney is all personality. She’s Hollywood ready with a dazzling smile and a great dancer. Whitney’s still in Korea (at the rescue!) and just waiting for her US debut


Photo credit: Instagram

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16 Responses to “Awkwafina has a new rescue dog adopted from Korea”

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  1. JK says:

    Thank you for the incredible work you do! What a happy story. Heang-Un means ‘luck’ in Korean. Lucky doggo! I have a rescue cat myself.

  2. Lily P says:

    Ah I love a happy doggy story!!

  3. Louisa says:

    OMG what a cutie! A couple of years ago I volunteered at a safehouse in Harbin, China for an organization that rescued dogs from meat markets and the street. When I flew back to US I was a flight volunteer and brought 10 dogs with me. I follow a couple of them on Instagram and it’s so wonderful to see the amazing happy lives they have now.

    • HooofRat says:

      What a wonderful thing to do, Louisa! We’re so grateful to the flight volunteer who brought our little rescue dog from Mexico.

  4. RRS says:

    I love this story! I have rescued 4 cats (so far). Hobbes – off a ranch in Laredo. He lived 21 years. Hannah from a shelter in El Paso. She lived 19 years. Now I have Jake and Jemma rescued through PetsMart in Ontario. He came from a 300+ cats hoarding situation in an apartment. She came from a farm where the cat population just got away from the elderly couple who lived on the farm. Also in Ontario.

    They all live now life like royalty with 5 willing human servants!

    They are some of the best decisions I’ve ever made. True love and joy.

    I’m raising 3 teenagers who have said they will only rescue cats when they are older.

  5. Nana says:

    Great work Awkwafina in adopting and promoting – and so good the work you’re doing Hecate. It’s hard work volunteering, but so rewarding.
    I have a rescue… it was a tough few months settling him in when he first came home as a 2 y.o – he’d experienced terrible abuse, was anxious, fearful and kept trying to run away.
    With good quality training for both of us from a dog behaviourist experienced in working with rescue dogs (and who came recommended by the rescue group), and a couple of months work following the training programme (essentially just recall work for about 10 minutes a day), doggy massage, a natural diet and patience and perseverence on both the dog’s part and my part, he’s settled in and is now able to be his true goof-ball self, he has some great doggy mates to have fun with and is enjoying life.
    His anxiety rarely surfaces and when it does, it’s just a matter of going back to our training to rebuild his trust.
    Sticking out those first few months so he could learn to trust was one of the hardest but best things I’ve ever done in my whole life. It’s worth it – you just need to be prepared to learn and you need to put in the work.

  6. grabbyhands says:

    Dear Awkwafina –

    Don’t take this weird or anything, but please invite me to your house so that I may spend several hours kissing both your pets. Thanks!

  7. Amanda says:

    This is wonderful. My kitty is a rescue as well. I’m glad more and more people are adopting rescues rather than going to breeders.

  8. liz says:

    This is so awesome! My beloved rescue dog, a hound mix named Phoebe, is curled up next to me as I type. Rescues are THE BEST!

  9. Case says:

    This is wonderful. I hope Gus has been welcoming, lol! My two cats are rescues, and they’re definitely the greatest decision I’ve ever made. We were definitely meant to be together!

  10. RRS says:

    The best story about our rescues is Jemma. My husband loved ours cat Hannah. He saw Jemma as we walked into the store and said “It’s the Hannah Cat!” I snuggled Jemma and said she was so sweet and should we take her home? He said sure! I about fell over! So we got it all sorted and I texted my oldest – a then 14 year old boy – with her photo and said look what we just did! My son who was on a school trip to NYC and not enjoying it – freaked! “I AM NOT GONE THRER DAYS AND YOU PEOPL
    GET ANOTHER CAT!!!” I texted back – um we aren’t replacing you…we just thought Jakie needed a friend. We all still howl about that text message! My husband later texted him and said by the way, the new kitty is living in your room! Never a dull moment no matter how hard we try!

  11. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    I just want to hug and cuddle all of the cute doggos and the kitteh. Thanks to all in animal rescue. 😍❤️

  12. backyard mogul says:

    We also adopted a dog from Korea, from a Canadian rescue org that flies them over. We were lucky in that while she’s cautious meeting new people, she has very few issues and has fit into our family so beautifully. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  13. Lissdogmom02 says:

    I love that you foster 🐶 🥰. When I move & own & am able to have more animals than my personal 2 pups I intend to do that too. For now I give to small organizations I research here in Oregon as well as the humane society. Both my pups are rescues and really they rescued me. Happy Friday this is just a great story.

  14. K says:

    This is a wonderful thing! I adore Awkwafina. They all look very happy!