SEOUL, May 15 (Korea Bizwire) – As more and more abandoned dogs are being found in abandoned neighborhoods awaiting redevelopment, with some even forming packs, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is taking matters into their own hands by pumping 500 million won into building a ‘neuter center’ in Yongsan District, officials revealed last Saturday.
The newly proposed neuter center will be a three-story building 224.48 square meters in size.
The first floor will serve as a community center for film screenings and a venue to host conferences, while the second and third floors will be dedicated to performing spay and neuter surgeries. Running as a service company, veterinarians at the facility will only perform neuter procedures, with the aim to prioritize abandoned pets from redevelopment areas.
The neuter center is in the final stages of construction, with plans to open this summer.
“Our neutering service could expand to cover other animals in the future, but as of now, we are focusing on dogs,” one government official said.
The latest move by the Seoul government is aimed at the growing number of abandoned pets in redevelopment areas in particular, as redevelopment projects often require residents to abandon entire neighborhoods, a process which can leave a significant number of animals exposed to the risk of being abandoned by irresponsible owners.
If the redevelopment area is adjacent to mountains, some of the abandoned dogs are feared to become a pack of wild dogs in the wilderness, posing a threat to residents in the local community.
The latest figures show that there are more than one million abandoned dogs in Seoul alone that have become wild dogs, moving in groups and threatening hikers at Bukhansan National Park, Inwangsan Mountain and Gwanaksan Mountain, with some of them coming down to residential areas in search of food.
“Increasing pet abandonment is rapidly becoming a social issue, and we are encouraging neutering as a precautionary measure to curb the number of wild dogs in the city,” a city official said.
Seoul’s previous measures to tackle wild dogs focused on capturing them, which proved ineffective.