SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — A former chief of an animal rights organization was sentenced to two years behind bars Tuesday for euthanizing 98 rescued dogs under her group’s care due mainly to economic costs.
The Seoul Central District Court delivered the sentence against Park So-yeon, a former leader of Care, who was indicted on violations of the Animal Protection Act.
Park was accused of euthanizing 98 rescued dogs under the care of her organization between 2015 and 2018 to secure more space at its facilities and reduce the burden of medical costs needed to treat animals.
She was also charged with breaking into private animal farms in August 2018 and stealing five dogs worth some 1.3 million won (US$1,025) in total.
Her wrongdoings were exposed by a former official of Care in 2019 and the case drew intense public ire at that time.
“Without seriously assessing the capacity of (Care’s) facilities, she immersed herself in animal rescue but put some of the rescued animals to death when the space became insufficient,” the court said.
Park had claimed her innocence, saying she rescued animals destined to be culled and euthanized about 10 percent of them in a humane manner without pain.