Alex and Chickpea Do Korea

Walking dogs in Daegu with the Korean Animal Protection Society

It would’ve been a bizarre sight anywhere, but watching 50 waygookins walking as many dogs through a park in the middle of a Korean city was downright freakish.

This was a dog walk organized by the Korean Animal Protection Society, or KAPS, one of the few animal advocates in Korea. The 20-year-old organization operates shelters in Daegu, taking in small dogs, big dogs and cats.

When Chickpea and I arrived at the shelter, just off the red line subway stop at Daemyeong station, there was already a crowd of foreigners looking to give these small dogs a much needed walk on a sunny spring day. The shelter itself is not impressive by any means — it’s dirty and reeks of urine — but it shows the nature of animal rights in Korea. The volunteers at KAPS are battling more than a shortage of funding and volunteers; they are up against old attitudes in Korea regarding animals and dogs in particular.

It’s no secret some Koreans still eat dog and the way some merchants butcher dogs is pretty distasteful by Western standards. But there is a general apathy toward animal welfare, too, mostly held by the older generation. One of the KAPS volunteers warned the group to stay away from older Koreans, who in past dog walks, showed verbal and physical aggression toward the dogs.

Happily, there were no issues during our walk around Duryu Park. Children and the elderly alike came up and patted the matted-haired mutts. Women squealed in delight at the site of pint-sized pooches. Men stopped their bicycles and asked questions about the dogs in broken English.

It was a good day to be a dog in Daegu.

For more info on the walks, check out the KAPS Facebook page.

7 thoughts on “Walking dogs in Daegu with the Korean Animal Protection Society”

  1. Shannon says:

    Alex, this video made me so happy! Haha, it was a good day to be a dog in Daegu- righty-o my friend! Too many waygookins, not enough dogs, thats a pretty good turn out!

  2. Michelle Van Balkom says:

    Great article Alex!

  3. eclecticspot says:

    Good stuff. My family and I will be moving to Daegu in a few months. We’re wondering if we should bring our dog for the two year tour or leave her with relatives. We’re really upset about the thought of leaving her behind during this time, but we can’t help but think that perhaps it would be for the best. On the military base where we’ll be living, she’ll have to remain on a leash at all times. I’m not even sure that there’s anywhere in the city where dogs can be without a leash.

    What advice can you give me?

  4. Alex Pickett says:

    Well, I don’t know much about military base rules and I’d think they would have some parks nearby that would be beneficial for your dog.

    The bigger issue is getting the dog into the country. Perhaps because you are military, it could be easier, but usually there is a lengthy quarantine process to make sure the dog is vaccinated, etc., etc. I’ve heard Korea is quite strict on this. I’d talk to one of your superiors that is already there. That’s my advice. Good luck,!

  5. Ariel says:

    Tack Bibbi och Camilla ff6r den lilla stund jag hann med er pe5 pe5 Ge4rsne4s Slott. Har inte riktigt kmmiot pe5 ff6tterna e4nnu men jag e4r pe5 god ve4g…Camilla satt in pengar idag till boken…Kram Inger

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