NOTICE (June 2014):
ALTHOUGH THE SHELTER IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION, WE RUN VERY SMALL TRIPS EVERY WEEKEND. PLEASE CONTACT CLARE OR STEPHANIE VIA E-MAIL FOR MORE INFO.
Lend A Helping Hand at Asan Shelter
Walking the dogs:
The most common task volunteers perform at Asan is walking the plethora of dogs. And, trust me: They are usually overjoyed at the prospect of stretching their furry legs. So, what is the typical procedure when walking an Asan pup? Firstly, always be sure to check that the dog isn’t on heartworm medication. If a pup is going through heartworm treatment, he/she can only have a very minimal level of exertion. Next, respect the doggy’s body language! Sometimes, the dogs just want to cuddle, or they just want some company. Some have never even been on a walk before! Only walk one dog at a time to avoid any unnecessary escapes. Always keep a respectful distance with other dog walkers. Some dogs socialize with other pups quite well, and some don’t. Just beware. Please never text on your cell phone when walking your doggy. You have the dog’s undivided attention, so return the favour.
Now, what is the procedure?
Currently, the dogs are housed in two separate areas, due to the shelter being mid-construction. Smaller dogs and dogs undergoing any medical treatment are located at Mr Park's house. Larger dogs are kept a short distance away inside a barn. Conditions are not ideal at the moment, but the new shelter should be finished soon and please bear in mind this is an intermediate phase.
Volunteer groups split into 2 - half the group will stay with the smaller dogs while the other half will go to the barn to give some TLC to the bigger dogs. We try to walk as many as we can, with the exception of a dog undergoing heartworm treatment, an extremely skittish dog or a dog-aggressive &/or hard-to-control dog. Please DO NOT walk any dog on a collar. Please ONLY walk a dog if you have a well-fitting HARNESS to use.
If a dog escapes, shout “LOOSE DOG” so other volunteers know that a dog has escaped. Only walk dogs YOU feel comfortable walking.
Cleaning the Cages/Dog Area:
This is a pretty self directed task. If you see a really dirty cage or area, then clean it! Even something as simple as scooping old poop from a cage can make a world of difference to improve a pup’s living conditions. Do what you see when it needs doing.
Top up Water Dishes:
If you notice that a dog doesn't have water, then fill up his/her water dish! There is no running water at the barn so we take fresh water with us from Mr Park's house. If there is a dirty water bowl, please give it a good scrub before filling it. The dogs get extremely thirsty in these hot weather conditions! There are so many dogs, and so few hands. If you think a doggy needs fresh water, then change it.
If you’re unsure about walking a dog, then ask first. Pay special attention to body language. There are a few bigger dogs at the shelter who don’t get walked because they’re not good with other dogs. Just be careful, and use common sense. When in doubt, ASK!
This isn’t a Fashion Show:
So, here’s the score: You’re going to get muddy, dirty, and drooled on by lovable pups. Wear running shoes, or equally comfortable shoes, that can get DIRTY. Sandals, or open toed shoes, are not a good idea. Rubber boots are great in monsoon season. Wear old clothes that you don’t care about getting dirty. Trust me: They will smell like dog forevermore. Also, it’s a good idea to bring an extra pair of fresh clothes to change into for the long subway ride home, and some deodorant if you are feeling considerate of your neighbour on the train.
What to Bring:
Anyone interested in fostering or adopting a dog from Asan shelter must first fill out an application form and be approved by an adoption coordinator. If you have any questions about this, please don't hesitate to contact Clare at email@example.com.
Thank you for giving your time and, most importantly, your love! The dogs say "Woof Woof" (Dogspeak for thanks!).
Written by Noelle P.
Edited by Clare Mills.
If you want to go from Seoul Station, take the KTX train to CHEONAN-ASAN KTX STATION (it is about 30 to 40 minute train ride). The best train to catch is the one that leaves Seoul Station at 10:30 a.m., and you can buy your tickets on the mezzanine level, usually just 20 minutes before the train departs.
Meet at the Cheonan/Asan KTX Station (inside "Dunkin' Donuts") at 11:00. If you are going to take the subway, please note that Asan is three stops from the end of Line 1 (dark blue). You’ll need to budget an extra 30-ish minutes as most times you’ll have to get off at Cheonan Station and wait for a continuing train to Asan Station.
From the Daejeon area:
You can catch a train that leaves a little before 10:30 a.m. from the Daejeon KTX Station. Check the Korail website for train schedules.
From the CHEONAN-ASAN KTX STATION:
We will all ride together to the shelter, usually by taxi. We usually leave around 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. to return to our respective cities.