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Volunteering Policies

BAPS host volunteers only on Sundays. We do not have full time staff to attend to visitors, so that’s why we can can’t be open during the week. To come to volunteer, you must register on the “event” posted weekly on our Facebook page.

We welcome and encourage people to join us in volunteer activities. As we cannot afford to have any employees to walk the dogs, the dogs have to stay in their cages the entire week. There are many areas in which to help, and we eagerly accept friends who wish to join us. Every Sunday there are events! As you prepare for coming to volunteer, please keep in mind the following policies that we ask everyone to keep while at BAPS.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

If you wish to volunteer at BAPS we require some basic personal information. Usually this can be done by “friending” Leo Mendoza on Facebook. This will allow us to get in touch with you, communicate, and know a little about each other.

When registering for a volunteer event, EVERY person in your group must register individually with their Facebook account. You may NOT say: my two friends are coming with me.

Please do not bring your personal pets to BAPS Volunteer days.

AGE

Anyone volunteering on a Sunday must be over 18 years of age (western), and must NOT be enrolled in high school.

This policy is due, first, to the Korean Government Law that states “if a dog bites a human, the dog must be euthanized if ANYONE demands it.” This means if there is an accident, and one of our dogs bites a child, any parent or grandparent can force our dog to be euthanized. We love and protect our dogs, and we do not want to risk our dog’s lives.

However, the main reason we have this policy is that handling shelter dogs is complicated. They are not home pets (yet), so they can be unpredictable on the leash. Strength is required, along with complete focus on the dogs. Dog fights can arise bringing injury to dog and human when the handlers are not experienced. This means that for children to come, they need trained supervision, which we cannot give due to lack of staff.

It is possible to arrange special visits for children to come to BAPS and learn about dogs here. However, Children who wish to OBSERVE life at BAPS must come with their parents, and permission must be obtained beforehand from the administration before EACH visit. We may DENY that permission if we feel there is likelihood of dangerous situations arising. Children should NEVER be walking a dog until having been approved. Only adults should be holding the leash. Children who prove themselves to be able to handle dogs, and have been trained over a period of a few weeks, CAN be responsible for walking a dog on their own, as long as the parents remain by their side.

Special animal education activities involving school classes, groups of children, or school projects may be requested, and will be provided. A donation to BAPS is required for special activities.

NOTE: Children WILL always be allowed to come if the purpose of the visit is choosing a dog for fostering or adopting, but they are restricted from direct animal contact while on the facility.

Please understand that on Sundays we come to BAPS to serve the dogs, not to educate. We know there is a need to educate kids, but we do not have the funding to provide trained staff to properly supervise children at BAPS. It is our hope that in the future, local schools, parents’ organisations, and others can realize the need to teach children, and help us fund an education program.

DOG HANDLING

We ask everyone to exercise caution and respect to the animals at all times. Please keep safety in mind.

- Do not open a cage by yourself. Only trained volunteers may open cages.

- Do not lift the dogs by the legs, head, or tail. Ask for help if you are unsure how to carry them.

- Always keep a harness and leash on dogs who are in the open

- Do not attempt to touch a dog that does not come to you when you approach.

- Do not hit the dogs.

- Do not let aggressive dogs sniff each other outside of cages. Keep them apart to prevent fights.

- Please treat the dogs with respect. Do not annoy them, tease them with treats, or spray them with water.

- Please follow the directions given by more experienced handlers.

- If a fight breaks out, separate the animals by pulling the leash, and lift them off the ground.

DRESS CODE

- The shelter can be a messy place. Bring clothes you don’t mind getting dirty or damaged.

- Bring an extra pair of shoes. Your feet will get wet. Rubber boots are advisable.

- No skirts, hoop earring, necklaces, or high heel shoes.

- No open-toe sandals or flip flops.

- Bringing a spare set of clothes is recommended on rainy days.

- In winter, dress warm. There is no heating available.

PRIVACY

At BAPS we keep our location a closely guarded secret. Unfortunately, in Korea, shelters that have made their address public receive large numbers of unwanted dogs by mail or delivery service, and often find dogs dropped off at the front door.

For this reason, we ask that when you are entrusted with our location, you do not disclose it to people outside of the Facebook BAPS community.

INTER-PERSONAL BEHAVIOR

Every week we have a diverse group of people participating in volunteer events. We ask that everyone behave in a respectful manner to others.

- Smoking is not allowed at BAPS.

- If this is your first time visiting, when you see Leo, you should sing the first two lines of your national anthem. This is VERY important to do!!!

** A NOTE FOR OUR KOREAN FRIENDS **

We know that BAPS can provide an opportunity to meet people from other countries. We support building the community, and encourage positive relations between Koreans and expats. We welcome all Koreans who have a genuine interest in caring for dogs.

However, please be aware that volunteering at BAPS means your primary purpose is to serve the dogs, not perform language practice or make foreign friends. Please respect that many expats are language teachers Monday through Saturday, and on Sunday they come to care for needy dogs, not provide English conversation practice. Do not spend excessive amounts of time with the “interview questions”: where are you from, what is your job, do you like Korean food, etc.

On Sunday volunteer events, the language of communication is English, so we ask that participants have a good level of English conversation skill, as often there is need for immediate communicating for safety reasons.

Remember, the dogs are the focus on volunteering days. Other events may be scheduled for educating about dogs, confidence building, and other human-centered activities. But on volunteer days we need to focus all our energy on caring for the dogs. Therefore, if you are afraid of dogs, or uncomfortable handling them, Sunday Volunteer day is not a good day for you to come, as volunteers are too busy to “babysit” or train people who are afraid of dealing with the dogs.

No experience is required, but volunteers should NOT BE AFRAID of handling dogs at a close range!

Dear Korean ladies: If you are the type of person that will scream when a dog jumps on you or moves suddenly towards you, please do not come. This scares and traumatizes the dogs.

TRASH

There is no public trash collection at BAPS, so we ask people to please take back any trash you brought, such as bottles, cans, food wrappers, etc.

SAFETY LIABILITIES

By coming to BAPS you acknowledge that you are willfully putting yourself in a situation of risk, and take responsibility for that risk.

Our dogs are mostly friendly, and those that are known to bite have cage cards noting it. (always read the cage cards!) However, all dogs can act in unpredictable behaviors when facing new situations, so we cannot guarantee your safety.

BAPS is not responsible for any injuries suffered while volunteering, traveling to and from BAPS, or any other activity related to volunteering.

OTHER POLICIES

There are countless issues that come up in the environment of the Sanctuary, so we ask that you follow the directions given by the staff and senior volunteers.

The best way to get in touch with us is through Facebook.

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