Whether you're volunteering at a Korean shelter that has dozens of adoptable animals or you've rescued a stray in your neighbourhood and have had no luck finding the owner, this article provides suggestions on how to go about finding a forever home for a homeless animal in Korea.

Write a Great Description

An awesome adoption ad emphasizes the animal's uniqueness. Generic descriptions which only tell us this animal is "cute" and "lovable" don't stand out. All animals are cute and lovable! Potential adopters want to read what is special about this particular animal. Knowing the details of her character and background help readers connect emotionally. So, what is her story? What is his personality like? What are her favourite things? Read "How to Write Pet Profiles" and other articles from Best Friends Animal Society's Pet Adoption Resources for tips on making your ad stellar.

Take Beautiful Photographs

Words are wonderful, but without images your listing may go unnoticed. Include several great photos of your adoptable friend in your listing-- you don't need professional photography skills, just aim for clear, well-lit, flattering, and not too far away.

Take Videos

Short little videos are a great bonus for any adoption listing on the web. Viewers can really get a sense of an animal's personality and size through videos, and it's a great chance to showcase any special skills or tricks your fur-friend may have, like fetch, shake a paw, or chasing toy feathers.

Advertise On the Web

Post your adoption ad onto your favourite social media sites as well as forums and other sites that target Korea's expat community. If you speak fluent Korean, use Korean websites as well. Update your posts regularly with current info, new photos, and videos. Don't just post once and forget about it-- those posts sink to the bottom of listings page and readers may assume that the animal has already found a home.

Make Print Posters

Don't forget about more traditional means of sharing information: print! Create a poster in Word, Open Office, or Google Documents, print it out in colour and distribute it to places where you're likely to find animal lovers and/or places you frequently visit. Include your awesome description of this companion's personality, basic facts such as age, breed, vaccinations given, and health status, as well as your best photo. Laminate any posters that you will put outdoors. Get permission from business owners, then put your posters up at:

  • Vet clinics
  • Pet supply shops
  • Groomers
  • Parks
  • Your workplace
  • Local hangouts

Recruit Your Friends

Ask all your worthy friends, co-workers, and acquaintances to help you spread the word and share your web and print adoption listings throughout their neighbourhoods and networks.

Go Out Together

If you're fostering a dog in your home, bring your adoptable friend with you when you go places and let people know s/he is looking for a home. If you're crafty, you can even make a cape, sweater, or collar that says "Adopt Me"-- a good conversation starter when you're out for a walk together. You can also put an "Adoptable" sticker on the carry crate you use to bring your foster dog, cat, or smaller pet to your vet or groomer.

Remember To Screen

It's very important to screen all potential adopters until the best match is found. Because you want this companion to be well taken care of for the rest of her life, you should not be in a hurry to adopt her out to the first person who think she's cute. Impulsive adopters may not know what it takes to be a responsible guardian or be committed to bringing her with them when they leave Korea or change apartments. .

Stay Hopeful!

The ideas above will help you get started on the search for a forever home, but please remember that the search is not always quick and easy. Sometimes all the stars line up and the perfect adopter appears within a few days or a couple of weeks. Usually, though, it takes several weeks or even months for the right match to be made. But don't lose hope! I truly believe that the right home exists for each and every animal. On ARK we've seen three-leggers, seniors, blind seniors, dogs with medical conditions, really big dogs, so-called "bully breeds", nervous dogs, dirty sneezing kittens and so many others find adoptive homes because of the love and patience of their rescuers. Know that you will add your story to the ever-growing list of successes!

Thanks for reading.

Written by Karen Busch. A variation of this article was originally posted in the ARK Forums in 2008.