We had been having some problems with / delays in building the new shelter in Yangju. Basically those problems combined with Mrs Jung having to urgently move from the Daejeon property (her landlord has new tenants who want to move in right now) meant we needed to look for a new option for the Daejeon dogs (other than the Yangju land or the Samsong shelter, which cannot take any more dogs).
Another Korean rescue group recommended we visit a shelter in Cheonan/Asan run by Mr Hee Tae Park. On Saturday after we visited the Daejeon shelter Hyunjoo, Eileen, Sofia and myself visited Mr Park's shelter (it's actually in Asan, about 20 mins by taxi from the Cheonan Asan train station - the KTX travels straight there).
It is a great shelter, Mr Park owns a huge area of land on top of a hill. It's quite steep to drive up there from the main road but he has heaps of space and no close neighbours, plus his shelter has been there for a number of years (so we are never going to have the landlord or council issues we have experienced with Daejeon and Samsong). He has absolutely no shortage of space to accommodate more dogs.
He has around 150 dogs (of all shapes and sizes - we met Golden Retrievers, Huskies, Afghans, Pointers, Labs, Spaniels, Beagles, Schnauzers, French Bulldogs, you name it) plus about 50 cats.
The shelter is really well set up, it is arranged into separate areas for:
- the large dogs (large fenced areas they can run around in plus kennels for when it is cold or wet);
- medium sized dogs (same set up as the large dogs)
- small dogs (some areas are the same as the above set up, others are indoors)
- cats (enclosed)
- quarantine / medical area (his vet also visits and does some surgeries on location).
He even has a pool for the dogs to exercise & swim in during the summer. He also has CCTV cameras set up so that all the various enclosures can be monitored 24 hours from the office/accommodation area.
I took a bunch of videos, but unfortunately it was dusk when we arrived so they are too dark to see properly. I will take more next Saturday during the day.
Mr Park lives at the shelter and has one assistant as well, a really nice young guy who also lives in accommodation there. Mr Park makes his own dog food with fresh chicken, vegetables, herbs and berries per a recipe approved by his vet.
We spoke to Mr Park for about 3 hours (his English is not too bad, but most discussions were via Hyunjoo to make sure there were no misunderstandings). He seems to be a really nice man who genuinely cares about animals. Joon from the Itaewon cat shelter has known him for over 10 years and she recommends him very highly. He is looking after a number of her cats at the moment.
Mr Park agreed he could take the Daejeon dogs on the following terms:
- he can take the dogs next Saturday and accommodate them temporarily in two spare greenhouses he has (both are the size of the one at Mrs Jung's shelter in Daejeon), once he has upgraded / extended his existing enclosures he will move the dogs to their permanent areas (he estimates it will take around 3 weeks);
- we pay him an up-front amount for him to upgrade / extend his existing facilities to accommodate 70 new dogs;
- we pay him a regular monthly amount to cover food and hiring one additional person to look after the dogs (his view is that 75-80 dogs per carer is manageable, but any more than that means they are not being properly cared for);
- if we bring any adopters to the shelter then the 50,000 won adoption fee is deducted from our monthly payment;
- if we can get anyone to donate money to the shelter then that is also deducted from the monthly payment;
- once we have arranged 50 adoptions from the shelter we don't have to keep paying the monthly amount (although I think we should still assist with the cost of food + encourage donations if we are in a position to do so).
We think this is a fair arrangement.
So we will be moving the Daejeon dogs to Cheonan/Asan this Saturday (6th of December). We really need help loading and unloading the 70 Daejeon dogs onto the two 5 tonne trucks we have arranged - anyone who can assist us we would be greatly appreciative.
We will need to visit the shelter slightly earlier on Saturday to make sure we have enough time to load and unload the dogs, allowing for travel time. So the arrangements will be:
- any volunteers coming from Seoul we will meet at Seoul train station at 7.30am to catch the 8.00 am KTX train;
- anyone else we will meet at Daejeon train station at 9.00am;
- the trucks will arrive at 10.00am at the Daejeon shelter and we are allowing about 2 hours to load the dogs and cages onto the trucks;
- driving time is about 2 hours from Daejeon to Cheonan/Asan;
- a couple of people may be able to ride with the trucks but the rest of us will take the KTX from Daejeon station to Cheonan Asan station (it takes about 20-25 minutes on the KTX);
- if the trucks arrive at the new shelter around 2.00pm that should give us plenty of time to unload the dogs and get them settled into their temporary accommodation;
- we are holding our second fundraiser for the shelter in Daejeon itself (at the Brickhouse) on Saturday night so we will be travelling back to Daejeon afterward, everyone is obviously welcome to join us if you can make it!
I would really encourage you to visit the new shelter - its is a great facility and they have such a wide variety of dog and cat breeds that I think we will be able to arrange regular adoptions much more easily (especially as they have so many different breeds of dogs, big and small).
We will also be paying for Mrs Jung's long-overdue back operation (and the post-operative care). She will be out of action for 2 or 3 months recovering from that. Mrs Jung won't be involved in caring for / managing the 70 Daejeon dogs once they have been relocated to the new shelter.
Anyone who is able to assist us on Saturday (you don't all have to help load and unload dogs, even if you would just like to visit the new shelter or say goodbye to Mrs Jung you would be most welcome).
Please contact me by return email or on 010 8940 5233 if you can help out.