KK9R Ignites a No-Kill Revolution, Starting With Asan City Animal Shelter in Korea!

Every year, more than 57% of the dogs at Asan City Animal Shelter (ACAS) are euthanized. That’s because ACAS is the only city-run municipal shelter in its area. South Korean city-run shelters are legally required to euthanize homeless animals that do not get adopted within ten days. If the shelter doesn’t comply, they lose any meager funding received from the city government. And, like most underfunded public shelters across the world, ACAS opens its doors to more dogs than they can support and adopt out.

But that’s starting to change, thanks to thoughtful adopters like you.

As many of you know, we at Korean K9 Rescue work with reputable rescue groups across South Korea to save dogs from the meat trade and other inhumane conditions. One of the groups that we partner closely with is Band for Animal, which is made up of ACAS volunteers.

Since last June, a total of 250 dogs from ACAS have been successfully adopted through Korean K9 Rescue.

Our partnership has also led to a milestone that was previously unthinkable for this once high-kill shelter: No dogs have been euthanized at ACAS for the past five months.

And this is just the beginning! We’re excited to keep contributing to this humane track record—especially in a country where animal welfare laws are abysmal, and only 5.2% of animals get adopted out from shelters, according to a report by the Korea Consumer Agency.

About 80 new dogs come to ACAS each month, according to volunteer, Jiyoung Kang.

The reason why we support the trailblazing volunteers at ACAS is because they, like us, are passionate about rescuing dogs, building more humane shelters, and raising awareness about pet adoption in their home country and abroad.

And they clearly walk the talk. Jiyoung Kang and Hyunyoo Kim, long-time volunteers at the shelter, has worked tirelessly to reveal the corruption that was happening at ACAS in order to bring reform.

ACAS accepts homeless dogs and cats from all types of situations. In November 2016, the shelter took in puppies that were illegally sold in a Yesan market.

In 2012, Kang and Kim reported how most dogs at the shelter were starving or being fed food waste, which is also common in the country’s unregulated dog meat farms. Bodies of euthanized animals were also left outside in plain sight. From 2015 to 2016, they helped a journalist expose how some of the Jindo breed dogs at the shelter were sent to dog meat farm owners.

Since 2012, Kang and Kim documented the deplorable conditions at the ACAS, which prompted the city government to open an indoor shelter in 2013.

Their determination for better reform is finally starting to pay off. Kang told us that the ACAS is currently under new management and in the process of improving its facility and operations.

For starters, the shelter has agreed to provide better veterinary support, give volunteers more autonomy, and microchip all dogs to ensure their safety. Kang and Kim is also urging the city government to financially support medical treatments (currently all paid for by volunteers/supporters) and to build a bigger shelter with proper facilities like heating/AC, a grooming/washroom, and an agility-based playground.

Kang and Kim’s public criticism about ACAS’s poor conditions led the city government to open an indoor shelter in 2013. But to this day, there is still no proper heating, air conditioner, or washroom facility at the shelter.

ACAS is currently under new management. A small group of volunteers visit the shelter every day to feed, walk, and socialize the dogs.

The shelter reform happening at Asan City Animal Shelter signals great progress. Korean K9 Rescue stands with volunteers like Kang and Kim, and will continue to advocate for more humane shelters in South Korea.

Together, we can ignite and spread the No-Kill Movement with a single shelter, and a single powerful act of adoption. Through education and awareness, we will make a difference!

How you can help: Spread #AdoptDontShop #NoKillKorea

Please consider adopting or fostering a dog from Korean K9 Rescue. It’s a powerful act of compassion that inspires others to save a life at a shelter. Thank you for your support.


Written by Jenny Lee. Special thanks to Jiyoung Kang, the head volunteer at Asan City Animal Shelter (천안아산동물보호연대) and manager at Band for Animal, for helping us write this article. All photos belong to Band for Animal.

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