UPDATE: 2 December 2021 Originally posted on fundraising page for Toro Golden Retriever
First of all I’d like to thank every single one of our family and friends who have donated to this page. Thank you also to my yoga students whom I volunteered to teach during quarantine to raise money for Toro, which is reflected in the donations here as well.
I’m writing this update because yesterday it was brought to my attention that Toro’s owner Yoona Min, Founder/CEO of YVEREST Limited, launched a social media smear campaign against my person and this fundraiser page. While I am loathe to engage in her negative narrative, I feel it is important that I get the facts straight in the interest of truth, and because donors here deserve to know where the funds were directed to.
Yoona Min, dog owner, left her two dogs Toro and Uni in April 2021 on what she said would be a one month trip. At the time Bruno, who was Alex’s housemate, volunteered to care for the dog while she was away. That one month became eight months, and the household was saddled with caring for a dog that was not theirs for the greater part of 2021. Because Bruno and Alex work in the nightlife industry, there was nobody to walk Toro in the evenings from Wednesday to Saturday, and there were several occasions when he was in the house alone so long that he would defecate and urinate in the apartment, even on Alex and Bruno’s beds. Therefore, whenever we had the chance, we would try to walk him at night so that we wouldn’t have any unpleasant accidents in the house.
One night, we got home at almost midnight and Toro was desperate to go downstairs to do his business. We were exhausted from a day out, but decided to walk him anyway because he clearly needed to go. Being cooped up at home all day, he was raring to go out, and if you know him, he’s incredibly strong and excitable. On the street he saw another dog walking our way and ran straight at the dog at full force, and then jumped the road barrier and was subsequently hit by a car and broke his front leg. We immediately brought him to the pet hospital where we foot the bill for over HK$6,400. We took him to the CityU hospital the next day where he received immediate medical attention and is the reason he is now walking and back to normal. Toro, however, did not have any insurance and thus his bills reflected extortionate vet surgery fees in Hong Kong.
We told Yoona that we were happy to help her to raise funds for Toro, but her attitude turned hostile and she stopped replying from July 2021. We still went ahead, but lost motivation to do more, given her lack of response and now aggressive behavior. SimplyGiving alerted me yesterday that they were receiving complaints about this fundraising page, and asked me to provide evidence that the funds went to Toro. I was happy to furnish them with the documents, and will upload them on here to show that we used all and even more for Toro’s recovery, not counting trips to the hospital etc. which we are happy to shoulder. We didn’t even include our own expenses buying Toro food, chew toys, etc because he chewed out the furniture and ate our personal items. Yoona was watching this fundraising page and demanded HK$8,000 as soon as she saw donations coming in, which we transferred to her immediately. Consider that Toro’s entire recovery from July to November 2021 was facilitated mostly by Bruno while his owner Yoona Min was away.
Alex or I did not ask to be part of this, but as any compassionate or decent human being we were trying to help an animal that was left by his owner. It’s important for us to clear the air and get the facts straight here, because that is what this community deserves. Moving forward, we will close this fundraiser page and hope that Yoona realizes that what she is doing is only harming everyone involved. We wish Toro all the best.
Julienne & Alex