By Joel Changhoon Lee
19thESC PAODAEGU, South Korea - Eleven Soldiers across Camp Henry volunteered at "Hana's Animal Shelter," located in Palgong mountain, June 7. Using teamwork, they trimmed, washed and cleaned the shelter's dogs for five hours.This volunteer project was planned by the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command and Lee Gwang-han, a participant in the unit's Good Neighbor Program, which supports building strong relationships between Team 19 and the Daegu community.Lee has been donating and volunteering at the animal shelter since he saved several dogs from a slaughterhouse last January."I want to change Korean's prejudice on helping abandoned animals by working together with U.S. Soldiers," said Lee."I thought many U.S. Soldiers who have lived with and loved their animals might be willing to join this volunteer program," Lee added.They arrived at the animal shelter around 10:30 a.m. and started to clean around the site and used a net to make a shade for dogs.Staff Sgt. Eddie R. Jimenez, Supply Sergeant for the 14th Signal Detachment, said, "After installing the shade for dogs, half of the side was covered by the shade. The dogs seemed to be much happier being out of hot sun."Some of the volunteers trimmed and washed dogs. Sgt. Chris Good, Central Issue Facility NCOIC of the 403rd Army Field Support Bridgade LRC-Daegu, trimmed "Snoopy," one of the abandoned dogs by a U.S. Soldier, who left him at a vet clinic. Snoopy has a condition that dries out his eyes and is nearly unable to see. He needs eye drops to be applied five times a day."I'm very sad to hear the story. If someone chooses to be an animal owner, they have to be responsible for their pet," said Good. "We are under the obligation to care and love our animals that give love and protection to us."Good added he would like to visit for Snoopy again.Over 200 dogs and cats are living in Hana's Shelter. It has been 15 years since Shin Sang-hee, shelter manager, started to take care of abandoned pets.Shin said, "The more dogs and cats I gathered, the more trouble I have for food and hospital costs. Without Volunteers and animal protection groups' donation and efforts, it would be impossible to run the shelter."There were also other volunteers on that day. For some of them, it was their first visit and others volunteered here regularly.Lee Eun-hae, a student of Yeongnam University, has visited this shelter regularly. She said, "Owing to efforts from the U.S. Soldiers, we could make shade and get rid of trash that took a lot of effort.""Koreans, who used to come here to volunteer, normally hesitate to help abandoned animals; however, Soldiers sincerely and intensively volunteered for animals," said Son Suk-in, who worked together with the Soldiers and applauded their efforts.At the end of the day it was unclear who benefited more from the experience, the dogs or the volunteers. Sgt. Jacob L. Beldon, SGS Command Driver of the 19th ESC, said, "I'll never forget the dog I washed. After bathing it, he followed me until I left."