Adding a fur baby to the family is one of the most wonderful experiences in life. And, adopting a pet in Korea, in particular, is something you should definitely do if you have the chance. Korea has low adoption rates. So, you are truly rescuing animals that you adopt here. As a foreigner, you may think pet adoption would be difficult. However, the entire foreigner community has got your back and will help you find your four-legged bestie.
Adopting a Pet in Korea: Where to Look
The first thing that might come up to your mind is animal shelters. And while indeed they have many cute little friends waiting to be adopted there, it is going to be difficult to complete the process without being fluent in Korean. If you are going to an animal shelter, you need to bring a Korean friend to help you through the process. Also, try to find online reviews and references before going. A lot of animal shelters in Korea have horrendous conditions that are absolutely heart-breaking. I personally recommend you volunteer for a day or two at the shelter you want to adopt from to make sure they are ethical. Plus, you can get more familiar with the animals there and the shelter will appreciate the help.
You might also want to join some volunteer foreigner groups that regularly visit animal shelters. They will be more than happy to assist you. You can see a lot of animal shelter volunteering groups at Volunteer Korea. But once there the process is usually pretty simple, you choose a dog or cat you like, fill in some applications, pay for the adoption fee, and bring your new friend home.
For most ethical shelters you will also have to provide updates on the health condition of the animal as well as go for veterinary visits. It is best to stay in touch with agencies and send pics once your friends settling in at home for the first few months after adoption.
Adopting a Pet in Korea Through Online Communities
Adopting a pet in Korea could also be an online experience. Pet adoption communities range from Facebook groups to online forums and Naver cafes.
These communities are for people who for one reason or another can’t keep taking care of their pets. All of them will also ask you for a minimum adopting fee and to keep the previous owner updated with pictures. In some cases, you will have to sign some forms that guarantee the animal’s safety. If you use this method to adopt, just make sure that the previous owner didn’t abuse the pet, isn’t breeding animals, or reselling them for profit.
This is my to-go Facebook group when looking to give a paw to animals. I have had nothing but wonderful experiences rescuing and adopting through this group. It is a very friendly community that constantly posts information about rescues and pets available for adoption. Friends here will also ask for an adoption fee and an application form in order to adopt a fur baby. This is just to make sure the animal will go to good hands and will be taken care of.
How Much to Adopt a Pet in Korea
Adoption fees should not be expensive unless you want to adopt a certain breed of cat or dog. However, we know all pets are the best regardless of their breed. So, the average adopting fee will be 50,000 won for a stray cat or puppy and it can go up from there depending on the breed and their backstory. 50,000 seems to be de minimum amount needed to cover the first veterinary visit and basic shots. But, if they need to be neutered, spayed or have other medical needs, they will be more expensive.
Finding our Potatoes
Gamja (Potato) & Goguma (Sweet Potato)
I found my beloved little fur baby in a post on the Animal Rescue Korea Facebook group. The moment I saw his honey eyes I knew he had to be my cat. I contacted the rescuer and she turned out to be the kindest cat lover ever. We went through the process and I will never forget the day I brought Gamja home. He was scared to death and hid for the whole day. When I was sleeping I suddenly felt a furry ball purring on my chest and there he was, opening his heart to his new mom.
Gamja is now a year and a half old, 6.5 kg cat. He couldn’t be healthier and I couldn’t be happier to have him in my life. I will always be thankful to his rescuer who also rescued my second baby: Goguma. I decided to adopt her about half a year after adopting Gamja through the exact same process.
Once you get yourself your best four-legged friend you might want to know where can you take it. You can Click Here to read about some pet-friendly places in Seoul.