I am back with another guest blogger! I would like to introduce you all to Savanna, who is currently living in South Korea with her husband and two beautiful dogs. Savanna has kindly written a post on fostering dogs in Korea!
When she’s not coming up with creative content for a client or managing their social media, you can probably find her working on her blog, Content by Sav, snuggling her dogs, or browsing Reddit for hours.
So what is her story …
I always told myself I would never foster. I have a huge heart and I always thought that if I fostered a dog, I would just end up adopting it for good. We already have two sweet pups, and we don’t really have the means to add a permanent third!
That all changed when I came to Korea, though. We brought our two dogs along with us, so I wasn’t necessarily missing that pet connection. However, when I got here, I realized just how devastating the stray and shelter situation is in most areas.
The dog situation in Korea …
There are shelters all over Korea filled with dozens to hundreds of dogs, all in need of good homes. Some wandered in off the street, or surrendered by irresponsible owners, and many rescued from their impending death at meat farms. Once I learned how grim the situation is for many Korean shelter pups, my husband and I decided there was no way we were going to leave the country without having fostered at least one of these precious dogs.
I visited Asan Cheonsawon Shelter and was instantly heartbroken. The shelter was overflowing with dogs that needed medical treatment, behavioral rehab, and forever homes. We originally wanted to foster a younger dog but even the most well thought out plans are often derailed.
We ended up with a senior: Bumper.
The first fostered dog in Korea …
When we met Bumper, he was, for lack of a better word, scared for his life. It was nearly impossible to wrangle him into a kennel for transport to our apartment. He was just so scared.
We later found that he had spent almost all of his life in the shelter, so of course he was scared! He didn’t know that we were just trying to help him and give him a warm place to sleep at night. He was in total fight or flight mode.
We eventually got him home, and he spent 6 wonderful months with us. Bumper went from a nervous, constantly shaking dog to a still nervous but slightly more trusting one. In the time that we had him, he progressed enough that he was even comfortable taking treats out of our hands and sleeping in the bed with us.
What happened to Bumper?
We never were sure just how old Bumper was, but he was estimated to be anywhere from seven to fourteen years old.
Bumper actually passed away a few nights ago. We had just transferred him to a new, loving foster home since we’re leaving so soon. He was buried at the shelter on a peaceful hill overlooking a field of rice patties.
We, along with Bumper’s most recent foster, gave him the best seven months of his sweet old life. Knowing that we got him out of the shelter and showed him true love and care is enough to keep me fostering senior dogs for the rest of my life.
Should you foster?
I want to encourage anyone who is going to be living long-term in a foreign country to foster an animal.
Fostering during a long-term stay is a great for helping a dog in need and satisfying your need for snuggles! It can be a huge financial commitment to ship pets from country to country, especially overseas.
If you foster a dog knowing that you don’t really have the resources to keep them, it’ll keep you from getting too overly attached, and it’ll make you even more motivated to help find a forever home for the pup!
If you do have the resources, congrats! You might meet your new, permanent best friend.
Fostering dogs in Korea …
If you are in South Korea for a while, Rebel Rescue South Korea is an amazing volunteer-run organisation. We fostered Bumper through them.
However, if you’re staying elsewhere, a simple Facebook search should help you find a rescue shelter that needs your help. Long term fostering may not be your thing, so check with the rescue and see what the options are. They may have dogs who need fostering for a week while recovering from surgery or waiting to be delivered to their forever homes.
Fostering a dog is incredibly rewarding, and there’s no better time to do it than when you’re visiting a foreign country for an extended period.
If not in Korea …
Check out my charities page which has information on a greyhound rescue centre in Spain!
You can also read about how volunteering in a rescue centre sparked my love of travel.