NATIONAL

Homeless mutt likely to become Korea’s first dog

By Kim Da-sol
  • Published : May 10, 2017 - 14:16
  • Updated : May 11, 2017 - 11:47
A mixed-breed mutt rescued from a dog meat farm looks likely to become a member of South Korea’s new first family.

Animal rights groups, pet lovers and a local newspaper Hankyoreh are demanding President Moon Jae-in make good on his promise to adopt Tory, a 4-year-old dog, from an animal shelter in Seoul. 

Tory, a 4-year-old mix-breed dog (Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth)

Moon was sworn in at noon Wednesday after winning the election the previous day.

During his 60-day electioneering, the liberal politician, who has one dog and two cats, met with fellow pet lovers and supporters of animal rights groups, vowing to make Korea a better place not just for humans but also animals.

Since being saved from slaughter two years ago, Tory has stayed at the shelter, as he was unpopular with would-be adopters. During the meeting, Moon was asked to be its new owner and he had promised then to take it to the presidential residence, if elected.

“My family and I anticipate the day to welcome Tory as a new family member and will make sure he adjusts well to the new environment,” Moon said via his camp last week. 

Moon Jae-in talks with pet owners and supporters of animal rights groups at an animal park in Seoul on April 15. (Yonhap)

His election pledges on animal welfare included the construction of more playgrounds for pets and feeding facilities for stray cats. On the dog meat trade, however, he stopped short of pledging an immediate and complete ban, saying it should be phased out.

Moon’s predecessor Park Geun-hye had kept Korean indigenous Jindo dogs at the presidential residence. She had been criticized for abandoning them when she moved out hurriedly from Cheong Wa Dae following the historical impeachment ruling that removed her from office.

After facing criticism, Cheong Wa Dae said it had found new owners for Park’s nine pet dogs.

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)