SEOUL, March 16 (Korea Bizwire) — A growing number of South Koreans are abandoning their pets as the overall pet-rearing population continues to increase.
On the contrary, there aren’t enough state-run animal protection agencies in the country to rescue the abandoned animals. Even if they do, most of the pets end up being euthanized.
As such, individuals are stepping up to rescue animals themselves and keep them under temporary protection until they find a suitable family for adoption.
Jeong Hye-jeong, 25, rescued a kitten two years ago that was stuck between walls near the bar she used to frequent. She has been keeping it under temporary protection ever since.
At first, Jeong considered sending the kitten to a local protection agency. However, she soon decided to look for a new family for the cat after hearing that kittens are more likely to get euthanized at protection agencies.
She continues to live with the cat, which she has now grown fond of. “Animals at protection agencies are typically housed under poor conditions since the agencies don’t receive enough funding,” Jeong said.
“That’s why many people choose to protect the rescued animals themselves rather than send them to an agency.”
Experts argue that abandoned pets are becoming a serious social issue, claiming that the responsibility for filling in the loopholes in the system lies with the government, and not volunteers.
The Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs reported last year that 135,791 animals were rescued or placed under protection in 2019 alone.
Despite the rising numbers, there are only 39 state-run animal protection agencies in the country. While there are an additional 231 private facilities and 14 subcontracting agencies, this still falls short of addressing the situation effectively.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)