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Adopting or Fostering a Pet

Adopting or Fostering a Pet

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Abandoned Pets:
Over the past ten years, pet ownership has grown to over 10 million people in Korea. But with this growth has come a parallel one, a drastic increased in abandoned pets. The number of abandoned pets in Seoul, for example, is estimated to be around 15,000 or more a year as of 2006.  Of 5,000 pets (mostly dogs and cats) rescued by the Korean Animal Rescue and Management Association (Gyeonggi Province) that year, only 121 were placed in homes. (The Seoul government reported that 17,000 animals were abandoned in Seoul in 2007, of which 11,900 were dogs according to the Korea Times 3 Nov 2008. The paper reported in July 2011 that over 100,000 pets were abandonned accross the country in 2010).

Some shelters are 'kill-shelters' where abandoned /lost animals are killed within a few days (usually within 10 days) of being found. Some of the no-kill shelter regularly rescue dogs and cats from these places. Many of the 'true' shelters also operate trap-neuter-return as well as adoption or fostering programs. Also, an increasing number of municipalies accross Korea are working with local veterinarians to provide care for abandoned animals through subsidies for trap-neuter-return programs.

Adoption/Fostering of Abandoned Pets
More pet are being rescued and adopted or fostered now and a number of pet rescue organizations have sprung up across the country. However, the number of animals being abandoned each year is still growing. There is still a general dislike of cats among the Korean population, especially among older people. It is still hard to find homes for abandoned cats, although not impossible.

Although the owners who abandon their pet dog or cat are local, a significant number of foreign residents do so as well. Animal protection activists perceived the problem as a shared one between the foreign and local communities. A number of organizations have been created to help rescue and find homes for homeless pets or even to advocate on their behalf. Among them are the organisations listed below.

Many well-meaning individuals also try to rescue dogs and cats and their efforts have been known to get out of hand. Despite the animal lovers good intention, the conditions of these shelters can result in a situation that runs counter to their initial goal. Because pet ownership is so new, government regulations, protection systems and care are still lagging behind the actual needs.

Adoption/Fostering of Abandoned Pets
More pet are being rescued and adopted or fostered now and a number of pet rescue organizations have sprung up across the country. However, the number of animals being abandoned each year is still growing. 

Organisations that work closely with the foreign community are:
Busan Abandoned Pet Sanctuary (BAPS)
Korea Animal Protection Society (KAPS) 
Animal Rescue Korea (ARK) - has stopped advertising adoption
CARE (Coexistence of Animals Rights on Earth ) - 동물권단체 케어

If you are looking to volunteer in animal rescue or to foster/adopt a dog or cat, contact one or all of them. Some of the websites also have forums where you can ask questions as well as receive and provide information regarding your pets. Some of the organisations are also involved in advocacy on behalf of animals in Korea. The Busan Abandoned Pet Sancturary provides a home-for-life for abandoned pets and has a 'no-kill' policy.

Sponsoring programs may also be available if you are not able to either foster or adopt an animal.

K4E Editor: Korea4Expats want to provide the most accurate and complete information possible, so if you notice an error or omission in the contents above, please contact us at

Last Updated on 2021-09-24

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