Maseok Shelter is east of Seoul, outside the town of Maseok and down an embankment below a main road. As far as shelters go, it's not much to speak of. But it's all these dogs have got.
The mother of these pups was inside the kennel, hidden away. She did not want to come out. Before being rescued and arriving at the shelter, she had been beaten by a group of men. She was pregnant at the time. No wonder she doesn't trust humans.
KARA members headed out to Maseok on March 21, 2010, for a clean up day. Here is what it looks like from the patch of road that runs past it.
It is divided into two main yards that in turn have sectioned off areas for groups of dogs. From the road you could smell it, since the grounds were urine and dung soaked.
In the first yard shown above are mainly smaller dogs.
They take up all the space they've got, either on the ground or platforms made for them on top of kennels.
The two guys up the top here have to stay up there or else they get picked on by the others. No one knows why.
Here's what it looks like from the back of the yard. The lady on the right was constantly bouncing around on the roof top with excitement at us being there.
The entrance to the other yard. This is one of the areas that had to be cleaned up and cleared.
Just inside there's some paneling, cut so as to make a series of kennels. It's an innovative way to make some quick townhousing.
In this yard there were a number of larger dogs, often tied up on their own.
Some of dogs, like the one on the left, refused to come out of their dog houses. They come from abused backgrounds and are traumatized and have pscyhological problems.
One of the worst was the one below, who would press himself to the back of the kennel as much as he could, while his eyes looked away nerviously. Dogs like this one wanted nothing to do with any humans.
They are entirely happy to stay right where they are, as long as there are no humans around. What a sad indictment on the humans that treated them so badly that these guys should live in such fear.
At the beginning everyone gathered and two teams were made, one to clean the first yard and the other to take dogs for a walk.
The walking job was the easiest.
Other dogs got some cuddles. Lucky boys!
The worst job was in cleaning the yard. Here poo smeared slabs were taken up, as were loose rocks.
All the soiled and filthy blankets and bed covers were removed. You had to hold your breath or wear a mask.
Meanwhile, outside the yard, dog bowls were being washed.
A drainage system was being dug and a new paving was being laid by the washing area.
It didn't take long to amass a decent pile of garbage.
Once the yard was cleaned, the dogs were brought back in and given some treats.
Some dogs also got some boiled eggs.
Then it was time for the humans to have their treats, with lunch of instant noodles and kimbub (rice and veges rolled seaweed).
Chef Sora put together a make-shift kitchen.
Chop sticks are so much more practical for such occasions.
After lunch it was back to business and the cleaning of the second yard. The two teams now loosely swapped roles.
One major task was to empty and remove and huge water tub taking up valuable space. Problem was it had frozen over.
Once some water was emptied, the ice breaker moved in.
There were some very interested spectators. This guy had mastered standing on two legs.
It was the same routine, as the yard was cleared, dogs were taken out for walks. Some of the larger dogs, however, simply didn't want to go. They were too scared.
Some literally had to be dragged out.
Others had to be carried out. But once they realized they would not be harmed and were going for a walk it was OK. But some of them behaved as if they had never in their lives been for a walk. They had no idea what to do or what it was for.
Afterwards, they also got their treats. The rascles below, in the same yard, also got some clean bedding.
The long shadows of the late afternoon as everyone was finishing up.
Soonrye Yim, KARA's Director, arrived to say hello and thank everyone. She had come from doing a photo shoot in another province.
Maseok's founder and manager is on the left in the pink jacket.
Everyone then headed home for a well earned rest.
Left to guard the shelter was this guy, one of the biggest, toughest, strongest, happiest, and healthiest dogs there. Just look at him. He was a handful when taken for a walk, as you can imagine.
Oh, and this guy--one of two guinea pigs who also call Maseok home.