Shelter address: (305-323) 대전광역시 유성구 (Daejeon Metropolitan City, Yuseong-gu)
갑동로15번길 20-39 (갑동 327-56번지)
Tel : 042-825-1118 / Fax : 042-825-1330
This shelter is now owned by the city (as of January of this year). It is run by the Daejeon Metropolitan government at City Hall.
This is not a rescue shelter, it is a city pound. It has firm rules, held in place by (sometimes-irritating) bureaucracy. The animals are not named, they are numbered. They are found running loose on the streets, or are surrendered by irresponsible owners. The shelter welcomes the help of foreigners, but it is geared toward Korean citizens who are seeking their lost animals, or to adopt a found one. Hence, the all-Korean website, and the limited English proficiency of staff who answer if you call.
Two members of staff speak decent English: John, the on-site veterinarian; and Sophia, a worker who's there to welcome volunteers during the week. The easiest and fastest way to get in touch is to go to the shelter yourself.
This public Facebook album shows pictures of the shelter as it was before and after the city takeover, and animals that have cycled through the shelter since early 2010. Most of them are no longer there, and all are not necessarily up for adoption. This goes for the profiles on the website, too. Try to translate what you can, because it will list the animals' availability. Again, your best bet is to go in person.
Currently, dogs wear white collars with a serial number (for example, 11-3-028) written in red (for females) or blue (for males). A similar system is in place with tags on cages for cats, rabbits, etc. Some cats are feral, and not recommended for adoption.
This shelter does NOT allow fostering. That means, once you have adopted an animal, they never expect to see it again. If you choose to foster, it is your responsibility to find a permanent home for the animal before you have to give it up. Please respect this.
The found animals are given a week's grace for their original owners to claim them. Sometimes, if an animal is in demand for adoption during this period, there will be a rush to try to claim it as soon as it is listed as adoptable, usually at 8 am. To claim the animal, you have to go through the website, which is next to impossible if you don't speak Korean. Luckily, the English workers might help you by claiming it for you, but they cannot guarantee it for you during the grace period. This is an example of a rule that they will not override. (It is great to hear that certain animals are in such high demand!)
After this period of grace, the animals are not on death-row. We have yet to hear a single case of an animal being put down for reasons of capacity. However, the shelter will do the humane thing and euthanize animals that are suffering. Also, be aware that they publish pictures on their site of animals that have been found dead, for owners trying to find their strays.
Be aware that there are many dogs running free and chained to dog houses around the shelter. These belong to farmers in the area, and are friendly, but not the responsibility of the City Shelter. This also goes for the two identical barns behind the initial shelter barn.
Large dogs are most desperate for exercize, as the small ones get let out of their pens regularly to stretch their legs. You can ask for leads and poop-bags at the office, or ask about a particular animal (by its serial number). Often there are Korean families there, taking animals home, so dogs are re-homed quickly for the most part. The city has really done a good job with this. Also, there is a programme for adolescents volunteering as part of their 20 hours of community service. It is a very positive development in this society, where pets are concerned.
Overall, the shelter is as clean as possible, and more organised every day. It is in a barn, so the animals are somewhat protected from the elements. Dogs are let out into fenced areas to exercise, but could always use more walks. Construction was to begin this year, for an even-better building and facilities. We hope that Daejeon will continue to take an interest in this shelter, and that foreign volunteers will maintain a good relationship with the staff there. Please reply with any developments if you have visited the City Shelter recently.
Because this shelter is public (city-owned), it cannot accept monetary donations, and there are no fees for adopting animals. Your time and support are already greatly appreciated. Please visit the shelter before bringing a donation of supplies so you know exactly what they need.
The shelter is located in Yuseong, a 10-minute walk from the National Cemetery (itself, not the subway stop). At "exit 2" of the subway stop, #118, there is a free shuttle service that runs until 5 pm every day, which will drop you at the entrance to the cemetery. There are directions posted as captions of step-by-step pictures here - the last 18 photos - starting with the aerial map.