GANGNEUNG, Jul. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — With three to four lost or abandoned dogs rescued daily at one animal center in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, the facility has maxed out its full capacity.
With space for 40 animals, the shelter currently houses 105 dogs. As abandoned dogs keep being reported, the shelter has opened up a large parasol on its front yard to accommodate the incoming animals.
An employee at the shelter said that the abandoned animals have a tendency not to leave the place they were abandoned or lost in hopes that their owners will return to fetch them.
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“Many owners ending up abandoning their pets but it’s important that they stay responsible until the very end,” said the employee.
As more South Koreans are abandoning their pets at vacation spots, an increasing number of pets are being found near tourist attractions or on country roads. During the summer holiday season, the number of pets abandoned typically doubles.
According to data released by the city of Gangneung, a major summer vacation spot, 346 dogs had been abandoned along with 63 cats so far this year.
Only 134 animals were returned to their owners, while 96 animals died natural deaths or became roadkill.
With the number of abandoned pets on the rise, local governments are also having a hard time keeping up with the increase.
At present, the local government of Gangneung has required shelters to put up advertisements for 10 days so that lost animals can be returned to their owners.
However, follow-up measures are lacking, which means that the local government must take matters into its own hands.
Government-run animal shelters try to take care of animals as long as they can, taking into consideration the opinion of animal activists, but as some stay for long periods without being adopted, this has become a worry for local officials.
On a national level, a total of 102,585 pets were reported missing last year, including 74,033 dogs and 27,080 cats.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)