Volunteers living with companion dogs use daily walks to give back to community
By Lee Yeon-woo
The 4-year-old Doberman mix breed Chapsal lives the dog’s dream life as the busiest puppy in Gangdong-gu, southeastern Seoul. He walks more than four times a day. After waking up, after breakfast, before a human mother goes to the office, before going to bed, and so on, she does more if time permits.
What sets Chapsal apart from others when it comes to walking is the fact that this pouch is on a mission as he walks on the sidewalk.
As a member of the Soul Puppy Patrol, he helps sniff out road troubles and make the neighborhood safer and cleaner without shaking his tail.
“Soul Puppy Patrol” on an orange vest, Koto residents with his name on the string recognize Chapsal wherever they go.
“I’m with a puppy, so I think it’s easy for people to start a conversation and ask for help,” Patrol member and Chapsal owner Lim Bora told The Korea Times, neighbors ask her to take part in a patrol and jokingly ask Chapsal how much she will earn for her work.
Another member of the puppy patrol, the 2-year-old Papillon mix breed Bodur, is surrounded by curious children when he takes his sister to school.
According to his son Gahyun, another patrol member and owner of Bodur, he is not only keeping an eye on the children who are victims of the crime, but also politely teaching them how to communicate with their dogs. It’s also the right trainer.
Soul Puppy Patrol is a group of 50 puppy owners living in Gangdong Ward who volunteered to turn their daily walks into a neighborhood rally.
Since May, they have been helping to track potential dangers, find roommates, and literally keep them clean. 4,444 volunteers will report directly to a nearby police station or use the AI-based management service SoulTalk to resolve the issue.
A total of 715 reports were sent in May and June, according to Investigator Kang Min-jun of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Commission.
Volunteers say they have never felt connected to the area, even though they have lived there for years. Unlike police officers who take turns patrol the area, residents are familiar with the area and are more lovingly concerned about it.
Lim, who has lived in Koto Ward since 1994, said he rarely meets people in need before participating in patrols. But one day she recalls providing help to a man who would have passed by if she were not a member of the patrol.
“The other day, when I was walking in Chapsal, I saw a puppy who was sick with a man by my side. I usually don’t say this or that to others about dogs. But as a patrol member, I insisted that he take the puppy to the vet.
When I talked to him, I found out that he had an intellectual disability. He didn’t know what to do because he thought it would cost a lot to take the puppy to the vet, “he said. Be careful. He asked Lim a series of questions about patrols and asked for advice on his puppy.
Lim said he came to believe that he could help residents in need of patrols.
“When I walk my dog, I see only the streets. But when I’m patroling with my dog, I have to look everywhere from the street corner to the sky. I find something new in my neighborhood every day. I’m doing it. ” I have lived in Koto Ward for 11 years.
In September of this year, Seoul Puppy Patrol will be introduced in nine more districts, including Mapo, Seodaemun and Seocho. Hundreds of puppies have been pre-tested by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Commission for socialization skills and patience. It is expected that 450 people of all nationalities will join the team. This time, we will introduce new projects such as taking children to school.
“Many inconveniences in everyday life are ignored because we do not consider them our business. As part of this patrol, I would like to participate and help create a better community. I’m proud, “Son said.
Credit/Source : KoreaTimes