Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pet Adoption in South Korea

Who wouldn't want a little of this in their life?

The Harrington's are not the first to adopt a sweet furry friend after spending a few months while in Korea nor will they be the last. Regardless, for those who are in South Korea who are considering making the big commitment regarding a little fuzzball of a friend, the Harrington's hope to share a bit of insight regarding the process with future articles addressing other pet related issues such as veterinary expenses, traveling home, etc. as the issues present themselves to the Harrington family.

In South Korea, there a few ways to which the Harrington's are aware one can seek out pet adoption, the primary source being Animal Rescue Korea. This organization's website is in English, so Guest English Teachers, have no fear! The site is essentially a network of English speaking animal lovers who are connected and knowledgeable about animal shelters throughout the peninsula. The site is filled with information regarding adoption, fostering, volunteering and even plentiful forums to discuss ALL things pet related.

As to the Harrington's specific experience with ARK and pet adoption: Lady Annyeong (then known as Sylvie) first came to the attention of Melissa Harrington while she was browsing topics posted on an extremely helpful place for English teachers in South Korea. After email communications with the original poster, the filling out of an adoption application and much conversing, the Harrington's chose to meet Sylvie on their way through Seoul. The meeting was held between the Harrington's, Sylvie and Sylvie's foster on a Monday afternoon. Although the couple had first heard about Lady Annyeong/Sylvie through she was a part of the system that is Animal Rescue Korea. She was being cared for in the home of a Foster Volunteer. The primary benefit of such a set up is that, for potential adopters a Foster can provide adequate information regarding current routines, temperament, potential issues, etc. This information was extremely valuable to the Harrington's who wanted to be quite sure they took in a dog to whom they could serve yet maintain their own routines with. Following this first meeting, the Harrington's took a few days away from Lady Annyeong/Sylvie to make sure it was a commitment they were ready and willing to make for this particular dog. As readers know, the decision was a definite yes.

For others considering adoption or purchasing a pet in South Korea, here are some things to consider/take away from the Harrington's experience: regardless of your choice to buy or adopt, at least look over the application form and pre-adoption information provided on the ARK's site - this is crucial to understanding what is expected of you as a pet owner; if this is your first pet, consider searching for a pet with a foster so as to get any insight you can regarding your specific critter; know the rules and regulations regarding returning to your home country with a pet; consider pet food prices and time commitments in light of your current money needs and social commitments; be prepared to fall in love with a cute ball of fur and teach it new tricks!

And for those considering a pet who need just a bit more convincing or friends and family of the Harrington's who want to see what Lady is capable of, a home video from '519'.

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