BUSAN, South Korea – On Saturday March 23rd, PNU venues Soultrane and Crossroads will be hosting the annual Busan Abandoned Pets Sanctuary (BAPS) fundraising concert for the independently run dog sanctuary. All money will go directly to the volunteer-funded organisation that has been sheltering abandoned dogs since 2008. Last year the show managed to raise over one million won, brought to you by some of Busan’s best bands.
Vaccinations, food, shelter, medical care, toiletries, care workers, sanitation and rent are all of the things that BAPS has to cover costs for the thirty or more dogs kept in their shelter at any one time. Determined to maintain the facilities to a high standard, in order to ensure true quality of life for the dogs, founders Leo Mendoza, Jin-Young Shin and Kim-Hae Onni have to make it work on a monthly budget of of over 2 million won –none of which is funded by the government or any other organisation. These figures do not include additional expenses caused by unexpected medical occurrences or accidents and the sustainability of the shelter relies on donations and the devotion of its hard working volunteers.
Despite being offered government aid, BAPS has denied the proposal in recognition of some of the unacceptable conditions that apply in government-funded shelters. Any pound that receives government funding is forced to accept every dog it receives. This may sound ideal in theory but it unfortunately falls into the trap of overpopulation. Overcrowding is the leading cause of failing dog shelters as proved by numerous global studies. The lack of space, food and appropriate sanitary conditions leads to the forced euthanizing of thousands of unfortunate dogs who are forced to live in unacceptable circumstances. BAPS runs a strict 100% no-kill policy where euthanizing is only allowed if a dog is suffering from terminal illness. The organisation understands that in order to ensure responsible sheltering, one must enforce a maximum occupancy figure.
The organisation has identified Spaniels to be the most unlucky dogs in South Korea. With their ridiculously adorable appearances they are often bought as playful gifts for children or presents for young couples who then give them up after they have exhausted their purpose or have grown too large. As a result of their playful nature, Spaniels may get out of hand without basic discipline and training which has produced a wide-spread misconception that Spaniels are untrainable and wild. As a consequence, Spaniels are rarely if ever shown to potential adopters at Korean dog pounds and are put to sleep after a ten-day waiting period or sold to the local slaughter house.
I’ve been a dog lover all my life. Since I was born my family have had dogs. So this whole sheltering thing falls naturally to me, explains Colombian-born Leo Mendoza, I’m attempting to apply my degree in Psychology to animal behaviour, and the more I observe our dogs, the more I’m convinced they are the emotionally superior species.
The dedication of the volunteers at BAPS is not only seen at the hours of work at the shelter but is also evident in the additional eight dogs that Leo and Jin-Young have adopted in their own home.
The website for BAPS listed below contains all the information you need if you want to volunteer for the organisation. In addition, the website includes useful guidelines for anyone who is new to handling dogs. This includes extensive information on travelling internationally with your dog, training the dog to minimise barking and advice for fostering and adopting a dog. Their Facebook page runs volunteer day-to-day activities where you can find out more information about BAPS.
The music lineup for the night:
-Soon Su Acoustic
-Pachuco Quartet featuring Anthony Garcia on Keys
@ Soul Trane
-DJ Tune Boy
-Mr . Watanabes
Find out more on the Facebook event page.