Thursday, February 16, 2012

KARMA - Animal Rescue Center

Korean Animal Rescue and Management Association (KARMA) is an animal rescue shelter for dogs (and a few cats). Located somewhere north of Uijeongbu, the shelter provides care for approximately 200-300 dogs in the winter and as many as 500 in the summer. That's a lot of dogs needing homes, needing care and food and walking and love until they find homes. It costs the shelter about ₩5,000,000 in the winter for 6-7 weeks of food for the 200-300 dogs. I don't know where such a lot of money comes from, but the salaries for the principle office workers is very slight while the majority of care if given by volunteers (12 at the moment). Above the offices are dorm rooms for volunteers and workers, so if anyone is interested in volunteering for an extended period of time (not just one afternoon), then I think KARMA would be quite pleased.

Unfortunately with costs being as high as they are, dogs cannot be kept indefinitely. KARMA typically keeps dogs 10 days, but if there's a chance of getting an adoption, they'll extend that time to 20 days, but then if the dog is healthy, cute and pure-bred they keep the dog even longer. In the long-term care room were several small popular dogs for Koreans and some of those dogs had the sweetest personality, but had been there for several months with no one adopting them. KARMA was still hopeful for these little guys because they were incredibly cute. I'm not a dog person but one little guy really captured my heart ... but dogs need so much care and are needy in comparison to cats, that I just wouldn't let my emotions make a decision I would later regret ... and to be abandoned or not loved when adopted a second time would be a painful blow to any pet :(

While my friend and I were there, we were so fortunate to see two dogs repatriated to their owner, big dogs too, a malamut and a larger terrier. The owner related someone opening the door of the house and the terrier shot out followed by his faithful happy huge friend, the malamut. The volunteer introducing us to the dogs explained that it was a rare day when someone came and actually found their missing pet.

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