The animals at Boeun did suffer due to the fact that there was only one Mr Lee. There wasn’t enough human interaction for them. Because most of the animals were given up between 6 months and 2 years of age in Korea, the core part of their lives where they are learning manners and building skills was stunted. For smart animals this can be overcome, but for some, especially street animals, they will always be a little wild.
It tended to be these wilder, or larger animals that went to Boeun. Most of the cats were street cats that couldn’t be returned, most of the dogs were high energy or big breeds or had been brought in as street puppies.
The dogs lived together in packs, usually from two to five dogs. This seemed to suit most of them but there were certainly some who found this highly stressful. My first year in South Korea, after I had been visiting Beoun for a few months I came across Gracie.
Gracie was some sort of a Lab/Deerhound cross, she was abandoned so we knew very little about her. She was probably less than a year old when she first came to the shelter. She was put into a pen with another Lab and a couple of mixed breeds.
Just like all the other dogs, Gracie was full of energy and bounce and had very few manners. But unlike the other dogs, she had been locked up in the back room of her kennel, she was alone and not mixing with the other dogs.
When I first went in and visited her I was expecting a dangerous dog. As it turned out dangerous dogs were quite rare in Korea. Gracie was a typical delightfully friendly lab cross. She was in desperate need of a cuddle and we hung out for a good hour while I was there.
When I got out I asked why she was in there alone. Apparently the other dogs were picking on her. She couldn’t cope and kept getting into fights…and losing.