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Yoon’s 7 companion animals to become ‘first pets’

A picture of Yoon and his Jindo dog Tori (Yoon’s campaign team)
A picture of Yoon and his Jindo dog Tori (Yoon’s campaign team)
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s seven companion animals are set to become the nation’s “first pets” after he is inaugurated on May 10.

Without children, Yoon and his wife Kim Keon-hee live with four dogs -- Tori, Narae, Mari and Sunny -- and three cats -- Akkaengi, Navi and Norangi -- since they tied the knot in 2012. He will become the president with the most pets ever. 

Among them, Jindo dog Tori is especially well known to the public from starring in a news photo of then-Prosecutor General Yoon taking a walk in his neighborhood in Seocho-gu, Seoul, days after he was suspended from work for two months on Nov. 24, 2020 in a high-profile clash with the justice minister. 
A picture of Yoon lying on bed with his pets (Yoon’s campaign team)
A picture of Yoon lying on bed with his pets (Yoon’s campaign team)
Yoon reportedly adopted Tori, an abandoned dog with a disability, from an animal rescue organization in Ulsan. To appeal to animal-loving voters, Yoon’s camp ran an Instagram account for Tori up until last October. 

As a pet owner, Yoon has sent strong messages in support of animal rights. 

Referring to the death of a horse after filming a stunt for a KBS TV series, Yoon said “what is dangerous for humans could also be unsafe for animals. We must work to create a safe environment for both animals and people,” in a Facebook post late last month.

He also earlier pledged to introduce a standardized system regarding medical expenses for pet care, to eradicate illegal dog factories and to expand spaces in pet shelters. He also promised to promote the abolition of the dog meat trade.

Outgoing President Moon Jae-in has also adopted an abandoned dog named Tori and has kept it at the Blue House. 

By Choi Jae-hee (cjh@heraldcorp.com)
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