South Korea: Animal Shelters

A truly interesting trip to South Korea!

I was fortunate enough to visit several animal shelters whilst working throughout the country.

The apparent difference from situations I have encountered before is the nature of the accommodation (small) and the size of the dogs (tiny!).

Pet owners favour lapdogs, and consequently, they make up the majority of the unwanted population in shelters when they are lost, abandoned or can no longer be kept.

There were many poodles, Yorkies, Maltese. Plenty of the tiny ‘tea-cup’ variety which of course would be ‘snapped-up’ very quickly in a UK shelter.

Medium-sized purebred dogs (beagles, spaniels etc) were also present, as were the distinctive golden/white pointed eared Korean dog (as pictured), in large numbers at all of the shelters I visited.

These dogs are known as  Nureongi a Korean word “๋ˆ„๋ ์ด” meaning “yellow oneโ€. They are often sadly farmed as meat dogs for human  consumption. You can find out more about this topic and the work taking place to prevent it here.

Cats are not popular as pets in South Korea as they are generally considered unlucky and treated with suspicion. They too can be farmed for meat and when these establishments are closed down, some may end up it shelters.

Also cared for in the establishments I visited were a small number of ‘small furries’ such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters.

Adoptions (and fostering) occur, with much of the initial contact made to the shelters’ websites.

It was a delight to meet many dedicated individuals, staff, and volunteers striving to make improvements in shelters, animal adoptions, and education.

I am looking forward to returning again one day soon to see the progress in animal welfare and local education.