This file photo shows pet dogs on a walk in Myeongdong, downtown Seoul, on Jan. 31, 2021. (Yonhap)
About 1 in 3 South Korean households raised pets in 2020, a survey showed Thursday, with the number of pet dogs and cats here reaching 8.6 million.
The number of households raising pets was estimated at 6.38 million in 2020, up 8 percent from the previous year's 5.91 million, according to the survey conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The figure roughly translates into 28 percent of the country's 23 million households. The calculation was based on the annual survey carried out on 5,000 respondents in October last year.
According to the survey, the number of dogs raised by local households came to 6.02 million, and that of cats came to 2.58 million.
On average, pet owners spent 176,000 won ($157) monthly on their dogs, while that of cats reached 149,900 won.
Around half of the respondents also said South Korea has lax punishment for those who abuse animals.
Starting this year, those who slaughter animals cruelly will face imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of 30 million won. It compares with the previous ceiling of two years.
Around 80 percent of respondents said they were aware of the animal registration system adopted in 2014, which requires people raising dogs aged two months and older to register their pets with regional governments. (Yonhap)