SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Korea Bizwire) – The Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to begin charging pet-owners for reclaiming their lost pets from city-run animal rescue agencies. According to an announcement on February 6, the city government is planning to reveal, in March, details of an amendment of existing laws on charging pet-owners who reclaim their pets.
The existing laws only state that rescue agencies are able to charge pet-owners for the cost of protecting lost pets, but do not go into details on the exact amount of the fee. Seoul city is planning to set those sums around 50,000 won (US$ 45) for reclaiming one pet, to pass responsibility of some of the costs onto the pet owners.
The city is undertaking several projects concerning stray animals as pet abandonment has become a grave social issue. Although abandoning animals is subject to a fine of 300,000 won (US$ 273), a lack of a system obligating pet-owners to bear some responsibility has been noted as a problem, with the Seoul government currently spending 650 million won (US$ 592,000) annually to protect stray animals.
The number of stray pets reclaimed by owners stood at 2,171 in 2014. It is estimated that the Seoul government could raise about 108 million won (US$ 98,300) based on the number of reclaimed pets in 2014.
By J. W. Choi (email@example.com)