Adoption Guideline for Asan Shelter

Adoption: A Guideline for Adoptive Parents of Asan Shelter Dogs

Thank you for making the decision to adopt a dog from Asan Shelter. Choosing to adopt a dog rather than buy from a pet store is the right decision. Rather than supporting cruel and inhumane puppy mills, you will be giving a homeless dog the loving home s/he desperately deserves.

Below are the guidelines and expectations of an adoptive parent who chooses to help a dog from Asan shelter. If you have any questions concerning any of the following information, please don’t hesitate to contact Allison at [email protected].

Bringing Your New Pet Home
Before you can bring your new buddy home from the shelter, you must have completed the following procedures:

  • Submitted an adoption application and been approved by a coordinator and foster parent (when applicable.)This can take anywhere from a few days to over a week. Please be patient!
  • Visited the shelter at least once to meet and interact with your potential new companion.
  • Upon adoption approval, adopters must visit the shelter again to pick up their new addition. If you are traveling by public transportation, it is necessary to bring a suitably sized crate in order to bring your animal home with you.
  • Pay the assigned health-check fee to Mr. Park.
  • You *must* bring a collar with I.D. tag and separate harness and leash with you to pick up your new dog. If you do not have an I.D. tag complete with your current information, you will not be allowed to bring your dog home.

Vet Care
If you have chosen to adopt a dog from Asan, chances are, s/he has already been tested for heart worm, given one round of DHPPL, vaccinated against rabies, and spayed or neutered. The shelter manager requires that before any dog is fostered or adopted from Asan, the health check is to be completed by his clinic in Daejeon. Great! It’s still important that you visit your own vet shortly after bringing your new furry friend home. Some things you should ask your vet to do:

  • Check the dog’s eyes/ears
  • Antibody/Titer Test to see if DHPPL boosters are required
  • Vaccinate for Corona Virus/Kennel Cough (Shouldn’t be done too early after bringing your new dog home --- wait at least a week)
  • Fecal test
  • Internal De-worming
  • Check the dog’s skin
  • Tick/Flea Treatment
  • Heartworm Prevention (You can either get an ingestible tablet such as “Heartgard,” or a topical treatment such as “Advocate”. This is something that your dog needs done every month in order to be protected against heartworm, which is extremely prevalent in Korea and very expensive to treat.)

Since the shelter lacks the funds to pay for vet care, adopters are responsible for the brunt of costs accrued for vetting. However, there are many vets in Korea that offer discount services for rescue animals, and we are always willing to provide a great list of vets to our adopters. Although most of the dogs at Asan shelter are/appear healthy, adopters should always be prepared because there is never a guarantee.

The majority of dogs at Asan have never had any training and have lived outside in cages, 24/7. It is going to take some dedication and commitment in order to help your dog adjust to living in a home. It is important to teach your new buddy manners that are required to coexist with people happily, but remember to be patient! This is all very new to him/her. Some shelter dogs adjust to living in a home quite easily, but some have more trouble than others. The bottom line is, they will need your help and understanding. Some things you should definitely work on with your dog:

  • Appropriate places to go the bathroom! (Crates work well for housebreaking new dogs, and a strict routine is helpful as well! See for some great tips on housebreaking!)
  • Polite leash-walking! (Always walk your dog using a harness. Many shelter dogs are skittish, and if spooked can easily slip a neck collar. Harnesses are more secure and keep the dog in control. A neck collar should *always* be worn and have an I.D. tag with current information --- including your phone number --- attached. In the event that your dog ever runs away or goes missing, contact your adoption coordinator immediately!! *Please see the end of this article for steps to take if your dog goes missing.*)
  • Socialization with people and other animals. Many shelter dogs have had limited interaction with people, and would benefit from meeting new people on their daily walks. Bring treats along and encourage people to say hello to your dog by giving a treat. (If your dog is extremely uncomfortable around new people or situations, take things slow and don’t force anything. Allow them to progress at their own pace.)

Some other things you might want to teach your dog in order to make him/her a more polite companion are basic commands: sit, stay, down, leave it, etc.

Keeping Adoption Coordinators Updated
Many of the dogs at Asan shelter have a whole community of people who have been advocating for them. These volunteers have put a lot of time, money, and emotion into the dogs at Asan, and will be eager to hear how your new dog is adjusting to life in a home. Give the people what they want!  You can never update too often, and we require that you try to keep us updated at least once a month for the first 6 months after adoption. You can send photos, videos, or updates to your adoption coordinator, or simply share them with everyone on the ARK Facebook Page or their old adoption thread on It means a lot for volunteers and adoption coordinators to see the transformation and happiness of the dogs they care about so much --- for many it’s what makes animal rescue worth while.

  • Pictures, pictures, PICTURES! We can never see too many pictures of former shelter dogs living happily in their new forever homes!
  • Videos of your dog being cute, sleeping, and playing are also very welcome; being able to witness the transformation from shelter dog to family dog is really very special to us.
  • Updates regarding behavior, personality, and funny quirks are always welcomed and appreciated.

If for any reason, at any time, something is not working out with you and your dog, you are required to contact your adoption coordinator and return the dog to us. Under no circumstances are you to re-home or give away the dog to anyone else. We will always take the dog back, no questions asked, no judgment. The most important thing to us is keeping track of Asan Shelter dogs.

*****IMPORTANT: What to do Should Your Dog Ever Go Missing
Accidents happen, and even the most responsible of animal owners can be faced with the terrifying situation of losing a pet. Here are some absolutely necessary steps to take in the event your dog ever goes missing:

  • As mentioned above, inform an adoption coordinator immediately.
  • Inform all vet clinics in your area as soon as possible, and provide them with the animal’s photo, description, and your contact information.
  • Have posters made ASAP and put them around your area the same day your pet goes missing!!! Posters can be simple: a photo of the animal, your name and contact information, and most importantly, a reward.
  • Ask your adoption coordinator to post a “lost” ad on and to inform local pounds and shelters ASAP.
  • Look for your animal as often and with as many people/friends as possible. Don’t give up!

There are also important precautions to take in order to prevent something like this from happening, and in the event it does happen, you can increase the chances of having your dog returned safely:

  • Your dog should *always* be wearing a collar with an up-to-date I.D. tag. Never walk your dog with the leash attached to the collar; use a harness instead. This is something so simple that can save your dog’s life --- please do it!!
  • If possible, microchip your dog.
  • Make sure to lock your doors and warn friends to be careful about leaving doors open/ajar when they come to visit.

We can’t thank you enough for choosing to adopt from Asan shelter. We wish you and your new companion the best future together imaginable. Remember, if you need anything at all; support, advice, or simply want to chat about your dog, contact your adoption coordinator. That’s what we’re here for!

Tags: adoption, Asan Shelter


kmwg19's picture

Wow!! This is excellent info to post Allison! Great job ^^

Karen's picture

Allison, who are the current Asan Shelter adoption coordinators? Are there one or two people who oversee all adoptions from Asan Shelter? Thanks!

allisondyoung's picture

Hey Karen! Yes, there are three of us. Myself, Sofia, and Clare. :)

Sofia's picture

Please check new Pet Dog Registration System rules here:

"Starting in 2013, a new pet dog registration system will be implemented under which pet dogs will be given identification numbers and pet owners will have to register their dogs and buy ID chips or tags for them for 10,000 won ~ 20,000 won. Among other advantages, this system will enable pet owners to find lost dogs more easily.

According to an announcement by the municipal government, pet dogs more than three months old must be registered starting from January 2013, as stipulated under the revised Animal Protection Act (Aug. 4, 2011). The law aims to enhance pet owners’ responsibility while facilitating the recovery of lost pets. A similar system of pet dog registration has been implemented in a number of countries overseas including the U.S., Japan, Australia and Taiwan.

Currently, more than 16,000 dogs get lost each year in Seoul. Owners suffer mental distress while the administration has to spend an increasing amount of money trying to recover them.

Pets can be registered at animal clinics designated by district offices. (See the district office websites for the list of the hospitals.)

Owners must visit the clinics with their pets, fill out an application form and buy one of the three ID chips/tags available.

Each pet dog must have one of the following: an embedded electronic chip, an electronic tag, or an ordinary dog tag, at a price of 20,000 won, 15,000 won and 10,000 won, respectively.

Guide dogs or adopted stray dogs may be registered free. A 50% deduction is offered for dogs with embedded electronic chips, dogs owned by people on the minimum wage or income, or neutered dogs.

Failure to register a pet dog will incur a penalty of up to 1 million won under the Animal Protection Act. However, the first half of 2013 will be an amnesty period during which the penalty will not be charged. For further details, please contact the Animal Protection Division of Seoul City Administration at+82-2-2133-7656." -"Infinitely yours, Seoul", 2012-12-24.