The Korea Herald


Man adopts 2 cats, just to kill them

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Dec. 6, 2023 - 09:33

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(Illustration by Park Ji-young) (Illustration by Park Ji-young)

A man in his twenties who killed two cats on the same day he adopted them has been sentenced to eight months in prison for animal cruelty, Changwon District Court said Tuesday.

The defendant was accused of killing the cats inside his car at a parking lot in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province in September last year, and mutilating their remains. The man had adopted the cats just hours before killing them.

A police investigation found his motive to be contempt toward cats, which was sparked by stray cats having scratched his car.

"The defendant’s method of crime is extremely cruel and does not show indications that he has any respect for life. He had driven over one hour to commit the crime, indicating that he had planned it thoroughly, and had harmed cats on multiple occasions before," the court said in its verdict.

Killing an animal through abuse can be punished by up to three years in prison, according to the Animal Protection Act, but very rarely do the perpetrators get jail terms. A total of 346 people were tried between 2017 and 2022 for violating the act, 56.6 percent received a fine while 5.5 percent -- 19 -- got sentenced to prison, according to Justice Ministry data revealed by the Rep. Song Ki-hun of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea.

The Supreme Court-affiliated Sentencing Commission provides guidelines for suitable sentences for each crime, but guidelines do not yet exist for animal cruelty, which has sparked calls from animal rights activists to create such criteria.