Asan disabled JindoFor my final trip to the Asan shelter with Animal Rescue Korea, I made it a point to spend lots of time with my favourite animals and also dropped off a prototype insulated water container. One problem with keeping the animals outside over Korea’s severe winters is that the water in their containers freezes solid and has to be replaced (rather than just topped up) every day. One of the other volunteers thought that we could perhaps get solar-heated containers to reduce the amount of time staff have to spend breaking ice, but due to the low solar flux in the animal pens (most are under tree cover) I felt that they would not be practical. On the other hand, if we constructed a large vacuum-tube array in the lower field then we could probably heat all the water containers and the sleeping areas as well…

Asan AkitaLacking the time and money to build a large system, I jammed a plastic box inside a slightly larger polystyrene box, and then knocked together a wooden frame to protect it. This would prevent warm water from freezing so quickly (ideally not at all), potentially speeding up the daily water deliveries. I also added a lid so that heat loss could be reduced at night, but didn’t paint it black (to maximise solar heat gain) in case the dogs decided to chew it. You may have noticed that I basically constructed a cool-box, and if this trial is successful then ARK will probably buy a few cheap ones for winter watering.

We also had a couple of new arrivals – an Akita and a German Shepherd, both from the US military base at Yongsan. Having come from a good home, they were both extremely shy and depressed from being stuck in cages but we managed to get the German Shepherd out for a walk. As we were wrapping things up, the other volunteers surprised me with an ice cream cake for the time and effort I’d put in to ARK over the past year – no more than anyone else, but it was a wonderful gesture.

KiskaAsan terrier puppy

Asan red JindoVanilla

Asan terrierAsan mattress cat