Number of Abandoned Pets Up 12 pct in 2019 | Be Korea-savvy

Number of Abandoned Pets Up 12 pct in 2019

This undated file photo shows dogs at an animal shelter. (Yonhap)

This undated file photo shows dogs at an animal shelter. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, May 12 (Korea Bizwire) The number of abandoned animals in South Korea climbed 12 percent on-year to more than 130,000 in 2019 with dogs taking up the bulk, government data showed Tuesday.

A total of 135,791 dogs, cats and other pets got deserted or lost last year, compared with 121,077 a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the state-run Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency.

Dogs accounted for 75.4 percent of the total, with cats making up 23.5 percent.

It cost 23.2 billion won (US$18.9 million) to operate 284 nationwide shelters for those ownerless animals last year.

Most of the stray dogs and cats went to a new owner or were euthanized, with only 12.1 percent returned to their original owners.

Nearly 65,000 wild cats were neutered or spayed last year at a cost of 9 billion won.

The number of newly registered dogs came to 797,081 last year, up a whopping 443.6 percent from the prior year, with the cumulative number reaching slightly over 2.09 million.

The figure has been on a rise since 2014, when South Korea’s revised quarantine laws took effect, requiring all pet owners to register and microchip their cats or dogs that are more than 3 months old for a nationwide pet identification and recovery service.

The data also showed South Korea having 17,155 pet-related shops nationwide in 2019, up 27.2 percent from a year earlier. Their combined workforce surged 24.8 percent on-year to some 22,500.


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