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  • elzoog
  • Expert Waygook

    • 594

    • July 15, 2009, 08:22:23 am
    • South Korea
Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #80 on: April 14, 2011, 10:56:49 am »
Kind of tired of the moralizing on this thread.

I live in a house out in the country.   The landlord of my house is raising dogs.   Sometimes, I play with the puppy, trying to teach it how to play fetch.  I even feed it sometimes.   Since I can't be sure the school will re-sign me in August, that means that I don't know if I can be a long term friend to this puppy.   I guess that makes me pretty damn immoral to you guys eh?

Also, if I find out that the landlord can't take care of the puppy anymore, asking someone on this forum to take care of it, instead of giving it to an animal shelter, would be immoral too?

I don't know if you guys are aware of this, but many of the dogs and cats that end up in the animal shelter end up being euthanized.   

So what's better for the animal?   That it be put in an animal shelter where it has less than a 20 or 30% chance of being adopted.   Or to ask someone on this board to take care of it?  Even if the person on this board can only take care of it for a year, it seems to have a greater than 20 or 30% chance of surviving.





  • merle
  • Veteran

    • 123

    • May 08, 2008, 08:04:02 am
Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #81 on: April 14, 2011, 11:49:17 am »
Thank you for such a through reply, and although I disagree with a lot of what you said, it has pushed me away from getting a pet. I think maybe the reason I haven't gotten one yet is because I know I can't provide the best home for it.

However, I don't want the best to be the enemy of the good. Animal advocates shouldn't discourage people from helping animals at all just because these people aren't able or willing to do 100%. 80% is still a lot of percent.

I think you bring up some good points too, and while I might not agree with everything I do respect your opinion and thoughtful reply!  I don't want to discourage people from helping animals because they can't provide the perfect home.  Many teachers in Korea work 8 or more hours a day and that isn't optimum, but a dog or cat can do fine in a home or apartment even still as long as they get the exercise, attention, and care they need.  I feel strongly about making a commitment to pets, as I've seen so many people who aren't willing to (not just NETs, take a look at craigslist or Kijiji postings for people "getting rid of" their loving pet.).  It's epidemic and it's sad.


   Since I can't be sure the school will re-sign me in August, that means that I don't know if I can be a long term friend to this puppy.   I guess that makes me pretty damn immoral to you guys eh?

I can sense that you feel pretty strongly about this, however, I don't know why you'd think others would find it immoral for you to befriend this puppy.  In fact I think you are helping him out a lot by playing with him and teaching him new things and socializing him.

Also, if I find out that the landlord can't take care of the puppy anymore, asking someone on this forum to take care of it, instead of giving it to an animal shelter, would be immoral too?

No, that would be a kindness.  Why would it be immoral? :( ??


  That it be put in an animal shelter where it has less than a 20 or 30% chance of being adopted.   Or to ask someone on this board to take care of it?  Even if the person on this board can only take care of it for a year, it seems to have a greater than 20 or 30% chance of surviving.

Yes, many shelter animals are euthanized.  One government shelter I know in Korea advertises and promotes the animals for adoption (or for their owners to find them) and I think they have a 65% success rate.  That still means 35% of animals don't make it.

In the long term, though, I think it would benefit animals more if we got away from the idea of convenience/disposable pets and that it was ok to have them for a year or two and then give them away.  A pet is for life, not just for Korea.  Yes, it is good to adopt those animals that hardly have a chance at all.  But once you save their life, are you not then responsible for it?  I know that people might want to help an animal but they can't make the forever commitment, and that's ok.  There are alternatives to adopting (fostering, volunteering at a shelter, etc) where you can spend time with a furry friend.  Check out BAPS (http://shindogs.org/) for a good way to help animals.

When the argument is given that it's better to save an animal from a shelter/street/etc but for just a year or two, I think it's more like a band-aid solution that does not address the larger problem of animal overpopulation and people's irresponsibility towards them.  Will it be a huge undertaking to change people's views towards animals and the treatment of them?  Undoubtedly yes.  But I don't think that's a reason not to try. 

Should we villainize people who honestly cannot keep their pets and try to find them the best possible homes?  No, but I don't think we should normalize it either.


Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #82 on: April 14, 2011, 03:43:19 pm »
I think it's totally fine to get a pet as long as you find a good home for it after you leave. That usually isn't too hard to do.


  • baboo74
  • Adventurer

    • 45

    • April 14, 2011, 02:08:36 pm
    • Korea
Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #83 on: April 14, 2011, 06:20:11 pm »
I agree


Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #84 on: April 14, 2011, 06:28:40 pm »

There are other ways you can help:
- give money to an animal charity
- volunteer at an animal shelter
- educate your students about animal care


I don't want to help. I want a fuzzy fur ball to keep me company.


  • amandas
  • Veteran

    • 80

    • April 07, 2011, 12:42:15 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #85 on: April 14, 2011, 07:02:10 pm »
I wouldn't get a pet if you were just planning on leaving it behind when you go back to your home-country at the end of your contract.  But i think it's fine if you were planning on taking it with you...you just cant abandon a pet like that


Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #86 on: April 14, 2011, 07:45:51 pm »
haha fair enough!  How about getting a fuzzy girlfriend or boyfriend instead though?


  • elzoog
  • Expert Waygook

    • 594

    • July 15, 2009, 08:22:23 am
    • South Korea
Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #87 on: April 14, 2011, 08:35:26 pm »
   Since I can't be sure the school will re-sign me in August, that means that I don't know if I can be a long term friend to this puppy.   I guess that makes me pretty damn immoral to you guys eh?

I can sense that you feel pretty strongly about this, however, I don't know why you'd think others would find it immoral for you to befriend this puppy.  In fact I think you are helping him out a lot by playing with him and teaching him new things and socializing him.

I feel strongly against telling people they are being unethical when there is little evidence to support it.

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Also, if I find out that the landlord can't take care of the puppy anymore, asking someone on this forum to take care of it, instead of giving it to an animal shelter, would be immoral too?

No, that would be a kindness.  Why would it be immoral? :( ??

Because I might end up giving it to one of these immoral people on the board that might only want it for the company and are planning to give it away when they leave Korea.

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  That it be put in an animal shelter where it has less than a 20 or 30% chance of being adopted.   Or to ask someone on this board to take care of it?  Even if the person on this board can only take care of it for a year, it seems to have a greater than 20 or 30% chance of surviving.

Yes, many shelter animals are euthanized.  One government shelter I know in Korea advertises and promotes the animals for adoption (or for their owners to find them) and I think they have a 65% success rate.  That still means 35% of animals don't make it.

In the long term, though, I think it would benefit animals more if we got away from the idea of convenience/disposable pets and that it was ok to have them for a year or two and then give them away.  A pet is for life, not just for Korea. 

Tell you what.  If the puppy that lives at my house needs a home, and it's a choice between the animal shelter and someone that won't keep it for life, I might seriously consider the person that won't keep it for life. 

It's not so much that I think giving the puppy to such a person is a great option.   It's that if there is no better option available, I would take that option.

Another example, I dabble in Java programming.   Now it would be great if I could be a Java programmer making $70,000 a year and have hot looking 22 year old girls I could have fun with.  This lifestyle is not an option because

1) It's not difficult to find someone who is a better Java programmer than me.
2) Hot looking 22 year old girls have better options than hanging around with me.
3) I don't like to have to solve business kinds of problems.

Right now, the best realistic option for me is to teach English in Korea.   I have two different online TESOL certifications, so I can do okay at it if I want to.   But it is a far cry from the best imaginable option.

Similarly, keeping a pet temporarily instead of permanently may not be the best imaginable option.  But judging the morality of that is kind of dependent on what the other reasonable options are.

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Yes, it is good to adopt those animals that hardly have a chance at all.  But once you save their life, are you not then responsible for it?  I know that people might want to help an animal but they can't make the forever commitment, and that's ok.  There are alternatives to adopting (fostering, volunteering at a shelter, etc) where you can spend time with a furry friend.  Check out BAPS (http://shindogs.org/) for a good way to help animals.

If you save a person's life, would you then be permanently responsible for that person?    What if I decide to save the life of a one year old child?   Let's say, the mother abandoned the child out in the countryside near where I live.  If I save that child's life, does that mean I am obligated to raise that child for 17 to 18 years until he/she becomes an adult?  Or would it be okay for me to do whatever I can to find someone else to raise that child?

You guys kind of remind me of Greenpeace convincing Zambia not to accept corn donated by the United States merely because it was GE corn.  This despite the fact that the other alternative was to allow people in Zambia to starve to death. 

In real life, we can't always make the best possible moral choice. 


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Should we villainize people who honestly cannot keep their pets and try to find them the best possible homes?  No, but I don't think we should normalize it either.

Well, if I give an animal to someone I can't be 100% sure of their motives.   For all I know, it could be a person who wants a cat to use as bait for a dog fight show.  I can try going on gut feeling, or by asking specific questions.  But gut feeling isn't reliable, and people can lie.

So my question to you is, if someone posts a "Kitty free to a good home" post, how can you tell whether it's someone who just took in the pet temporarily or if it's someone that honestly can't keep the pet anymore?  If you can't be 100% sure, then aren't you risking villianizing someone that is honestly doing the best he can?

Also, what do you think the moderators of the board should do?   Visit each person individually and interrogate them to make sure they are the type that honestly can't take care of the pet anymore?



  • merle
  • Veteran

    • 123

    • May 08, 2008, 08:04:02 am
Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #88 on: April 15, 2011, 02:39:50 am »
You guys kind of remind me of Greenpeace convincing Zambia not to accept corn donated by the United States merely because it was GE corn.  This despite the fact that the other alternative was to allow people in Zambia to starve to death.
Emphasis mine.

I can understand that, since I did quote your post that you would address some of your argument to me, but seriously... "You guys" ?   It does not make sense (nor is it a good argument) to sweep everyone who may disagree with how you feel into one big pile and then reference something that has little (if anything) to do with the original topic.  I am not the OP and I do not speak for him/her. 

I do kind of understand where you are coming from as there are people who share some similar views on some things and are quite vociferous, unrelenting and brusque in promoting their opinion.  I might share those characteristics sometimes (?), but I also feel that more good can be accomplished through negotiation and flexibility.

   Since I can't be sure the school will re-sign me in August, that means that I don't know if I can be a long term friend to this puppy.   I guess that makes me pretty damn immoral to you guys eh?

I can sense that you feel pretty strongly about this, however, I don't know why you'd think others would find it immoral for you to befriend this puppy.  In fact I think you are helping him out a lot by playing with him and teaching him new things and socializing him.

I feel strongly against telling people they are being unethical when there is little evidence to support it.

It's not the taking in of an animal in need that is unethical.  It is when animals are only kept when it is convenient and then given away/dumped/etc when they are no longer wanted when you know in advance that you will not be able to take them with you and yet keep them for months or years before finding them new owners.
This is especially true for people that adopt a cute puppy (or kitten) for a year and then try and rehome the now adult dog later.  It is much much harder for an adult dog to find a home than it is for a puppy because they aren't as heart-meltingly cute anymore.  Pets do get attached to their people and the longer you have them the harder it is on them when they go to a new home.

I definitely get the fact that you don't like people telling you what to do or how to believe.  No one does.  And I am not trying to tell you or anyone not to help an animal in need nor adopt from a shelter or off the street, nor do I think an animal is better off dead than in a temporary home.  I'm actually a huge proponent of fostering and I think it's really the best of both worlds if you're not able to keep an animal forever.  You get a furry companion, and they get someone who's looking out for their best interests and will find them a good home.   I've fostered 3 cats and 1 dog and although it's a bit sad at first when they leave you, it's an awesome feeling when you see them in their new home.  And that you know that they have that good home because you took the time and made the effort and were there (in country) as a back-up just incase something did not work out (it happens).  If you only find a home for an animal before you leave and something happens once you are no longer in the country it is much harder to make sure the animal will be ok.


Because I might end up giving it to one of these immoral people on the board that might only want it for the company and are planning to give it away when they leave Korea.

Tell you what.  If the puppy that lives at my house needs a home, and it's a choice between the animal shelter and someone that won't keep it for life, I might seriously consider the person that won't keep it for life. 

It's not so much that I think giving the puppy to such a person is a great option.   It's that if there is no better option available, I would take that option.

Or alternatively, you could find someone to foster the animal who would try and find him a good home.  Why can't that be an option?  Why is the choice only between going to the shelter or someone who will give the animal away when they leave?  True, maybe you couldn't find someone who would be able to adopt or foster in time, and when you run out of other options you chose the best one you can.  And that is understandable.


Another example, I dabble in Java programming.   Now it would be great if I could be a Java programmer making $70,000 a year and have hot looking 22 year old girls I could have fun with.  This lifestyle is not an option because

It is not an option because it not realistic or comparable to this topic.  What you describe in this example is what looks to be an obvious fantasy (not saying that you can't have a hot 22 year old girlfriend, I don't know you and don't want to impinge on your ability to get girls ;) ). 
But is it really fantastical to think that people could be responsible pet owners who would not regularly give away their pets when they don't want them anymore?  I hope someday it can become a reality.

Similarly, keeping a pet temporarily instead of permanently may not be the best imaginable option.  But judging the morality of that is kind of dependent on what the other reasonable options are.

Not judging morals, just intentions.  Temporarily having a pet because you want the help them get a better life and find a permanent home (while also enjoying their company) = good on you.
Temporarily keeping a pet because you're lonely and then ditching them when you leave = not so good.

If you save a person's life, would you then be permanently responsible for that person?    What if I decide to save the life of a one year old child?   Let's say, the mother abandoned the child out in the countryside near where I live.  If I save that child's life, does that mean I am obligated to raise that child for 17 to 18 years until he/she becomes an adult?  Or would it be okay for me to do whatever I can to find someone else to raise that child?

Holy extremes, Batman!  Perhaps you'd take that child into your home temporarily out of the elements while you did what any responsible person would do and call the authorities, who would then come and take are of the child because we have systems in place to deal with these sorts of situations. Of course you would not be obligated to raise that child!  I don't think social services would let you, anyway. 
But let's say you lived in a place where this wasn't possible, some remote and undeveloped place or something.  Sure, take the child in and do whatever you can to find someone else to raise that child if you are unable to.  Kinda like you'd be fostering him then, eh?


Well, if I give an animal to someone I can't be 100% sure of their motives.   For all I know, it could be a person who wants a cat to use as bait for a dog fight show.  I can try going on gut feeling, or by asking specific questions.  But gut feeling isn't reliable, and people can lie.

That's why it is super important to screen potential new homes.  For anyone who find a stray who needs a home or is looking to rehome a pet, please check out this link (Best Friends Animal Society) for some good tips:
http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehomelesspets/pdf/howtofindhomesforpets.pdf


So my question to you is, if someone posts a "Kitty free to a good home" post, how can you tell whether it's someone who just took in the pet temporarily or if it's someone that honestly can't keep the pet anymore?  If you can't be 100% sure, then aren't you risking villianizing someone that is honestly doing the best he can?

You could ask the history of the pet and why the pet is up for adoption, which you should do anyway if you are looking to adopt.  And even if it is someone who is rehoming their pet, it's not like we should necessarily then post and say "You are a bad person, shame on you," since frankly that does not help the animal at all, now.   However, I do not think it should be OK or commonplace for people to routinely give their pets away, especially for free.  Encouraging responsible pet ownership is good.  Isn't it? 


Also, what do you think the moderators of the board should do?   Visit each person individually and interrogate them to make sure they are the type that honestly can't take care of the pet anymore?

Er, also extreme question there.  Nice use of the word "interrogate" to make it even more negative.  I'm not sure if the mods and admin have a policy regarding pet ads on waygook.org or if they even feel they need one.  Perhaps they could have guidelines for the buy/sell/trade section regarding living creatures, but it's really not the focus of this website.


Getting back to the OP, rereading the first post, I don't think this thread was started because they didn't want people to help animals.  I think it was more in response to ads like this:

"Hi, I'm leaving in two weeks and need to find a home for my cat.  He is 10 months old and is really sweet and has been great company.  Can you give him a good home?"


  • elzoog
  • Expert Waygook

    • 594

    • July 15, 2009, 08:22:23 am
    • South Korea
Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #89 on: April 15, 2011, 04:53:20 am »
You guys kind of remind me of Greenpeace convincing Zambia not to accept corn donated by the United States merely because it was GE corn.  This despite the fact that the other alternative was to allow people in Zambia to starve to death.
Emphasis mine.

I can understand that, since I did quote your post that you would address some of your argument to me, but seriously... "You guys" ?   It does not make sense (nor is it a good argument) to sweep everyone who may disagree with how you feel into one big pile and then reference something that has little (if anything) to do with the original topic.  I am not the OP and I do not speak for him/her. 

The similarity of refusing GE corn in Zambia and the topic of this thread is .... da da da da

The morality of an action depends on what the alternatives are.

Recently, I personally had to do something pretty immoral because I couldn't think of a better alternative.  I am pretty well aware that in reality, you might not have the option of a good decision.

Quote
   Since I can't be sure the school will re-sign me in August, that means that I don't know if I can be a long term friend to this puppy.   I guess that makes me pretty damn immoral to you guys eh?

I can sense that you feel pretty strongly about this, however, I don't know why you'd think others would find it immoral for you to befriend this puppy.  In fact I think you are helping him out a lot by playing with him and teaching him new things and socializing him.

I feel strongly against telling people they are being unethical when there is little evidence to support it.

It's not the taking in of an animal in need that is unethical.  It is when animals are only kept when it is convenient and then given away/dumped/etc when they are no longer wanted when you know in advance that you will not be able to take them with you and yet keep them for months or years before finding them new owners.

Maybe that's bad.  But again, maybe the owner in question is too busy concerning themselves about other things to have thought of this?   I myself, locked the keys to the English room at school inside the English room because I was too busy thinking about questions I was going to put on the mid-term exam and how I can introduce western pop music to students.

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Or alternatively, you could find someone to foster the animal who would try and find him a good home.  Why can't that be an option?  Why is the choice only between going to the shelter or someone who will give the animal away when they leave? 

That would be an option if I know of such a person.   What if I don't know of any such person?

I'm not sure if you know this, but I don't have a magic machine in my house that gives me 100% accurate information on why people do whatever it is that they do.

If I post on this board "Dog free to a good home" I might end up giving the dog to someone that wants to put her in a dog fight.  I can try to avoid that.   But without that machine that gives me 100% accurate information on people's motives, I can't be 100% sure.  The guy that wants to put the dog in a dog fight isn't going to say so when he comes over to look at the dog.   He's going to seem like a cool affable guy that gets along well with dogs.  He might even be the type that tells me that he will foster the dog for a few months until he finds the dog a better home.

Quote
Another example, I dabble in Java programming.   Now it would be great if I could be a Java programmer making $70,000 a year and have hot looking 22 year old girls I could have fun with.  This lifestyle is not an option because

It is not an option because it not realistic or comparable to this topic.  What you describe in this example is what looks to be an obvious fantasy (not saying that you can't have a hot 22 year old girlfriend, I don't know you and don't want to impinge on your ability to get girls ;) ). 
But is it really fantastical to think that people could be responsible pet owners who would not regularly give away their pets when they don't want them anymore?  I hope someday it can become a reality.

Well, if I knew what hot looking 22 year old girls really wanted I would have an easier time getting one.

Similarly, if I or you knew with 100% certainty why certain people get pets, we could avoid giving pets to irresponsible people.   We could eliminate people who get cats to use as bait in dog fights for example.

Until then, we are probably going to have people who get pets for selfish, stupid and irresponsible reasons. 

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Similarly, keeping a pet temporarily instead of permanently may not be the best imaginable option.  But judging the morality of that is kind of dependent on what the other reasonable options are.

Not judging morals, just intentions.  Temporarily having a pet because you want the help them get a better life and find a permanent home (while also enjoying their company) = good on you.
Temporarily keeping a pet because you're lonely and then ditching them when you leave = not so good.

The trouble is, how do you know that person X is the not so good person?   On top of that, how would the moderators of this board who have to sift through hundreds of messages a day know?

Quote
If you save a person's life, would you then be permanently responsible for that person?    What if I decide to save the life of a one year old child?   Let's say, the mother abandoned the child out in the countryside near where I live.  If I save that child's life, does that mean I am obligated to raise that child for 17 to 18 years until he/she becomes an adult?  Or would it be okay for me to do whatever I can to find someone else to raise that child?

Holy extremes, Batman!  Perhaps you'd take that child into your home temporarily out of the elements while you did what any responsible person would do and call the authorities, who would then come and take are of the child because we have systems in place to deal with these sorts of situations. Of course you would not be obligated to raise that child!  I don't think social services would let you, anyway. 
But let's say you lived in a place where this wasn't possible, some remote and undeveloped place or something.  Sure, take the child in and do whatever you can to find someone else to raise that child if you are unable to.  Kinda like you'd be fostering him then, eh?

And pray tell, how could I avoid giving the child to someone that wants to use that child for slavery?

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Well, if I give an animal to someone I can't be 100% sure of their motives.   For all I know, it could be a person who wants a cat to use as bait for a dog fight show.  I can try going on gut feeling, or by asking specific questions.  But gut feeling isn't reliable, and people can lie.

That's why it is super important to screen potential new homes.  For anyone who find a stray who needs a home or is looking to rehome a pet, please check out this link (Best Friends Animal Society) for some good tips:
http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehomelesspets/pdf/howtofindhomesforpets.pdf

Yeah, I'm sure someone who wants to get a cat to use as bait in a dog fight would never think to also look up that web site for tips on how to pretend to be a "good pet owner".

The thing is, anyone posting on this board is probably an English teacher in Korea right?   In order to be an English teacher in Korea, you have to have a university degree.   If that person has a bachelor's degree, that puts him in the top 20% of the population (in the United States at least) in terms of education.

That alone would probably make it less likely that a person posting on this board is an irresponsible pet owner.  Is that infallible?   Definitely not.  Would I still want to screen people to some extent?   Probably.

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So my question to you is, if someone posts a "Kitty free to a good home" post, how can you tell whether it's someone who just took in the pet temporarily or if it's someone that honestly can't keep the pet anymore?  If you can't be 100% sure, then aren't you risking villianizing someone that is honestly doing the best he can?

You could ask the history of the pet and why the pet is up for adoption, which you should do anyway if you are looking to adopt.  And even if it is someone who is rehoming their pet, it's not like we should necessarily then post and say "You are a bad person, shame on you," since frankly that does not help the animal at all, now.   However, I do not think it should be OK or commonplace for people to routinely give their pets away, especially for free.  Encouraging responsible pet ownership is good.  Isn't it? 

Sure, but I don't know that an irresponsible pet owner would even read this post.   I would think that an irresponsible person probably doesn't go very much out of his way to read information on how to make moral decisions about this.

Quote

Also, what do you think the moderators of the board should do?   Visit each person individually and interrogate them to make sure they are the type that honestly can't take care of the pet anymore?

Er, also extreme question there.  Nice use of the word "interrogate" to make it even more negative.  I'm not sure if the mods and admin have a policy regarding pet ads on waygook.org or if they even feel they need one.  Perhaps they could have guidelines for the buy/sell/trade section regarding living creatures, but it's really not the focus of this website.


Getting back to the OP, rereading the first post, I don't think this thread was started because they didn't want people to help animals.  I think it was more in response to ads like this:

"Hi, I'm leaving in two weeks and need to find a home for my cat.  He is 10 months old and is really sweet and has been great company.  Can you give him a good home?"


And you know that this person isn't someone who got fired from his hogwan on short notice and is too busy trying to get ready to go back to the US to arrange to move the animal with him, how exactly?

I will never forget one recruiter for Korea telling me that when a hogwan wants you to start, they wanted you to start teaching there yesterday.  When they want you to leave, they want you to leave yesterday.  They don't care that a normal person needs notice.   They don't take into consideration what a foreigner really needs.   Sort of like, certain pet owners eh?




  • merle
  • Veteran

    • 123

    • May 08, 2008, 08:04:02 am
Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #90 on: April 15, 2011, 10:42:48 am »
If I post on this board "Dog free to a good home" I might end up giving the dog to someone that wants to put her in a dog fight.  I can try to avoid that.   But without that machine that gives me 100% accurate information on people's motives, I can't be 100% sure.  The guy that wants to put the dog in a dog fight isn't going to say so when he comes over to look at the dog.   He's going to seem like a cool affable guy that gets along well with dogs.  He might even be the type that tells me that he will foster the dog for a few months until he finds the dog a better home.

Talk to possible adopters, multiple times.  By email, through Skype, and in person.  Have them come over and meet the animal before adopting them to see whether they are truly a good match.  Wait a few days after their meeting before they can actually take the animal home.  Charge an adoption fee (and donate that to a shelter if you don't feel right in keeping it.  Your choice).

That won't guarantee that bad owners won't adopt animals, but these steps can help so much to get the animal a good home.

Bunchers, people looking for animals to use in the dog-fighting business, and people with ill intentions towards the animals they "adopt" don't really want to pay money for the animals they use and abuse.  So by charging an adoption fee you'll hopefully be weeding most of them out.  Also, an adoption fee gives people who make poor or impulse decisions at least some pause before they go ahead and get a pet.

I don't expect anyone to invest in a polygraph and test people before they adopt a pet.  But you can be smart about finding a home for an animal.  Taking the time to properly screen potential adopters really helps with that.   Waiting until you are about to leave the country to find a new home for your pet isn't really the best way to go about finding them a good home.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 10:45:27 am by merle »


  • June13
  • Explorer

    • 9

    • October 26, 2010, 12:03:36 pm
    • Dongducheon, South korea
Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #91 on: April 15, 2011, 10:59:05 am »
Hi there

I haven't read all the threads but I get the just of it...foreigners adopting pets then leaving them behind, either in a shelter or a new home.
Well, I have another option for all you pet lovers...Animal Rescue Korea (ARK) have a fostering program for animals (cats/dogs mostly) who are currently in a shelter and looking for a forever home.
Since we can't take a pet home with us, we opted to foster a dog...just this month she's found a forever home. Unfortunately for us, I don't think we'll do it again because we just got too attached but if you think you can do it then this might be a great option for you :)
Hope this helps


  • GrenWhit
  • Veteran

    • 168

    • November 15, 2010, 02:19:55 pm
    • Gyeongsangnam-do
Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #92 on: April 15, 2011, 11:10:32 am »
So, who exactly are you (any of you) to tell me what is and isn't right for me?


Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #93 on: April 15, 2011, 11:40:12 am »
I agree and disagree a bit with the original post on this one.  So okay, it is selfish a bit to get a pet here if you're only going to be here for 1-2 years and you don't plan to take the pet with you when you go.  But if you MUST have something, a hamster or a fish have shorter lifespans so if you plan to stay a couple of years something like that is a better choice than say, a dog or cat.

Also tho, I had planned to get a dog when I got here (tho my husband vetoed that really fast T__T) and had researched the policies on taking animals in and out of the US.  It's a little expensive and usually requires a lot of documentation and quarantine but we make enough money, if you really want to do it and take the pet with you, I don't see a problem.

Just don't get a pet cause YOU want it but have no forethought for the pet itself or what you will do with it on vacation times or when you leave.


  • Davox
  • Super Waygook

    • 497

    • February 05, 2011, 03:01:13 pm
    • Ilsan
Re: Why do teachers get pets in Korea?
« Reply #94 on: April 15, 2011, 11:52:32 am »
Davox,
There is no need to let kittens starve to death on the street. If I did see a starving kitten, been here for two years and havn't yet (you must be running around saving them all) then I would take it to an animal shelter.

"Loving foreigner" how can you be loving if you leave a pet alone in an apartment for say, 8 hours a a day with no stimulation. That's not loving in my opinion.

Of course there are different situations and it is hard to make accurate assumptions without seeing each case. However on the whole I think it best, if you are living in Korea temporarily, to just leave having animals out of the equation.

There are other ways you can help:
- give money to an animal charity
- volunteer at an animal shelter
- educate your students about animal care

Also I found your initial sarcastic response a little unhelpful.
Especially as it breaks my heart every time I see animals getting treated badly in this country.

Sorry to get upset, but the thing is that animals do run free in the streets in some places, these things do happen and choices do need to be made.  Animals need rescuing, and not every animal gets out of the shelter alive.  I honestly thing animals are better off in (at worst) a loving home for 1 year or so than in a shelter. I have two cats; both were rescued from the street (although not by me personally).  And yes, I am planning on bringing them home, whenever I go back.   But this is Korea, sometimes things happen.  You can get fired, your hakwon can go out of business, your new job can claim that your apartment is pet-friendly but then it turns out not to be when you get there, your parents (whom you will initially live with when you go home) find out they are allergic...things happen, and you can't plan for all of them.  I honestly believe that this shouldn't stop someone from rescuing an animal from a shelter if they are going to try their best to care for the animal, even if their best means that sometimes they'll have to put up a "Animal looking for a loving home" thread here.  It just pisses me off to see people being attacked when they have actually tried their best to care for their pets.


  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

    • 2341

    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Don't be a short-term pet-owning idiot
« Reply #95 on: May 25, 2011, 04:47:52 pm »
You're in a new place, you don't know many people, and wouldn't a pet ever be nice? And wow, wouldn't you know it, someone near you has one that needs a new home.

I know of someone like that. He had been in Korea a couple of months and he met a friend-of-a-friend who had to get rid of her cat because the country to which she was moving had a six-month quarantine. Carrying case, dishes, toys, the works. But what would he do in ten months when it was time to go home to Canada and face reality? Well, there were three other foreign coteachers living in his apartment building - surely one of them would like a pet when he left. She could become like the hagwon mascot. If not surely someone at the foreigner bar would want her, especially if he posted some photos of how precious and cute she was. And one of his coteachers could feed her in the unlikely event he was able to get two vacation days in a row.

Six months in and this guy and wongjongnim-babo had a parting of ways and, liking most things about Korea and not wanting to return to Canada, he moved off to a real school in the countryside. Suddenly he found himself with weeks of time off at various times of the year and all sorts of interesting thoughts and plans about where outside Korea he could spend them. But what to do about the cat? Leaving her at home and asking his coteacher to feed her was an option, but she spent so much time alone at home already and appeared to go bonkers the first time he tried it for several weeks in a row. Come summer he found some foreigners about five km away and arranged with them to take her at different times based around their summer holiday schedules. However, their summer plans changed at the last minute and when their director found out there was a cat in the apartment he immediately evicted her, a pleasure he normally only enjoyed with humans. I heard some story about how this was done using bed sheets as nets but I'd rather not think about that.

The director called this idiot's poor coteacher to come pick up his cat, and not knowing what to do, his coteacher looked up an animal kennel. In Korea, animal kennel = dog kennel. This poor creature spent over a week in a cage surrounded by terrifying barking dogs while her idiot master enjoyed sipping Kokanee on his sister's porch.

The next holiday period he found some people who we're real cat lovers and, following his return, were happy to keep her. For a number of months until it was time to leave. They found a Korean who is amongst the 0.-something % of Koreans who think a cat might make a nice pet, and he agreed to take her. Maybe she ended up with a great permanent home; maybe she ended up starving to death in a ditch. In any case the end result was that this idiot ended up causing himself, a bunch of others, and quite possibly the cat a lot more grief than a few months of feline companionship would be worth.

As youíve probably guessed, the idiot described in the story above is me [waits for mod warning for calling a poster an idiot] and that is my cautionary tale. No matter how wonderful the idea of having a pet dog, cat, rabbit, turtle, or even bloody duckling may seem, unless youíre prepared to plan your entire life around it, itís a very stupid and irresponsible thing to get. Theyíre going to outlive a one-year stay in Korea, you could hit a snag and have to leave Korea tomorrow, and with the exception of small dogs the vast majority of Koreans donít like those creatures except in various recipes. Letís not be idiots.


Re: Don't be a short-term pet-owning idiot
« Reply #96 on: May 25, 2011, 04:52:32 pm »
We do read before we edit  ;D


  • NMonk
  • Veteran

    • 205

    • March 04, 2011, 05:39:39 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Don't be a short-term pet-owning idiot
« Reply #97 on: May 25, 2011, 04:55:48 pm »
You're in a new place, you don't know many people, and wouldn't a pet ever be nice? And wow, wouldn't you know it, someone near you has one that needs a new home.

I know of someone like that. He had been in Korea a couple of months and he met a friend-of-a-friend who had to get rid of her cat because the country to which she was moving had a six-month quarantine. Carrying case, dishes, toys, the works. But what would he do in ten months when it was time to go home to Canada and face reality? Well, there were three other foreign coteachers living in his apartment building - surely one of them would like a pet when he left. She could become like the hagwon mascot. If not surely someone at the foreigner bar would want her, especially if he posted some photos of how precious and cute she was. And one of his coteachers could feed her in the unlikely event he was able to get two vacation days in a row.

Six months in and this guy and wongjongnim-babo had a parting of ways and, liking most things about Korea and not wanting to return to Canada, he moved off to a real school in the countryside. Suddenly he found himself with weeks of time off at various times of the year and all sorts of interesting thoughts and plans about where outside Korea he could spend them. But what to do about the cat? Leaving her at home and asking his coteacher to feed her was an option, but she spent so much time alone at home already and appeared to go bonkers the first time he tried it for several weeks in a row. Come summer he found some foreigners about five km away and arranged with them to take her at different times based around their summer holiday schedules. However, their summer plans changed at the last minute and when their director found out there was a cat in the apartment he immediately evicted her, a pleasure he normally only enjoyed with humans. I heard some story about how this was done using bed sheets as nets but I'd rather not think about that.

The director called this idiot's poor coteacher to come pick up his cat, and not knowing what to do, his coteacher looked up an animal kennel. In Korea, animal kennel = dog kennel. This poor creature spent over a week in a cage surrounded by terrifying barking dogs while her idiot master enjoyed sipping Kokanee on his sister's porch.

The next holiday period he found some people who we're real cat lovers and, following his return, were happy to keep her. For a number of months until it was time to leave. They found a Korean who is amongst the 0.-something % of Koreans who think a cat might make a nice pet, and he agreed to take her. Maybe she ended up with a great permanent home; maybe she ended up starving to death in a ditch. In any case the end result was that this idiot ended up causing himself, a bunch of others, and quite possibly the cat a lot more grief than a few months of feline companionship would be worth.

As youíve probably guessed, the idiot described in the story above is me [waits for mod warning for calling a poster an idiot] and that is my cautionary tale. No matter how wonderful the idea of having a pet dog, cat, rabbit, turtle, or even bloody duckling may seem, unless youíre prepared to plan your entire life around it, itís a very stupid and irresponsible thing to get. Theyíre going to outlive a one-year stay in Korea, you could hit a snag and have to leave Korea tomorrow, and with the exception of small dogs the vast majority of Koreans donít like those creatures except in various recipes. Letís not be idiots.

Very honest of you and VERY relevant post. Sticky?
Check out http://alienteachers.com for my blog, FREE lesson plans featured by the British Council and general living in Korea resources.


  • Koenji
  • Super Waygook

    • 286

    • December 03, 2010, 02:43:17 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Don't be a short-term pet-owning idiot
« Reply #98 on: May 25, 2011, 05:02:21 pm »
have to agree with this.....I`ve noticed quite a number of threads recently from posters on here trying to get rid of their pets as they`re leaving at the end of their short stint here. Pretty sad to see as It`s not great for the pet to be hoarded around all the time every year when a teacher decides to up and leave....fair play to those who try to take their pet back home with them but it`s very uncommon by the looks of things.


Re: Don't be a short-term pet-owning idiot
« Reply #99 on: May 25, 2011, 05:03:06 pm »
Hopefully this kind of common sense is 'stickied' in everyone's mind.