JEJU, South Korea, Jul. 12 (Korea Bizwire) — Hundreds of animal bidders flocked to an auction of Jeju dogs held by the Jeju Livestock Institute (JLI) Tuesday, with hopes of adopting an animal from one of the most coveted dog breeds in South Korea.
With a mere 20 puppies put up for auction, the JLI saw over 550 applicants showing interest in adopting the Jeju dogs, even before the auction took place on Tuesday.
After choosing the lucky 20 winners by drawing lots, the livestock institute informed the newly selected pet owners of the adoption process through the guidebooks they provided.
Within the next 10 days, officials from the institute plan to conduct thorough inspections of the living environments at the new homes in which the puppies will live, along with another screening process to vet those who will be the new owners of the Jeju dogs.
Hailing from China around 3,000 years ago before setting on Jeju Island, ‘Jeju dogs’ are known for their swiftness, and great sense of hearing and smell, which make them some of the best hunting dogs to catch badgers and pheasants.
Similar to the Jindo dog in both shape and color, a telltale distinguishing sign between the two is their tail, as a Jindo’s tends to bend while a Jeju dog’s stands straight.
Having put up a total of 125 Jeju dogs for auction between 2012 and 2016, the JLI hopes to continue its efforts to breed and preserve Jeju Island’s unique dog breed, but the institute has also faced criticism from animal rights groups over the sales of the puppies.
Animal rights group CARE slammed the JLI over the discrepancy between its actions and words.
“The JLI has been pushing to register Jeju dogs as a national treasure since 2015 by building breeding and research facilities, but their decision to sell off puppies as objects through auctions and dump old and less valuable dogs pales in comparison to what they preach,” CARE said in a statement released last week.
Following the criticism, the JLI withdrew plans to put up four aging and two sick dogs for sale.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)