Moon hails arrival of 'First Dog' in presidential residence

Lim Chang-won  Reporter Posted : 2017-07-27 09:16 Updated : 2017-07-27 09:16
글씨작게 글씨크게

[President Moo Jae-in's Tweeter]

South Koran President Moon Jae-in hailed the arrival of his "First Dog", a black homeless canine who has been kept at an animal shelter after being rescued from a dog meat farm two years ago.

Moon, an animal lover who already adopted a street cat to live together with his white pet dog at his residence, received the four-year-old mongrel dog this week from the Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), an animal rights group.

"Tori, a long-awaited dog, has finally arrived at the Blue House," Moon tweeted, expressing his desire to share the story of a small black dog who had been abused and abandoned at a shelter before becoming the "First Dog". He had promised to adopt Tori when he visited an animal shelter before being elected.

Tori has now become the symbol of a social campaign to accelerate the adoption of abandoned dogs and cats. 

Of about 60,000 abandoned dogs kept in shelters in 2015, activists said that only 32 percent found new homes with 22 percent put to mercy killing. More than 8,000 dogs are abandoned every year, although owners are required to implant compulsory microchips to their canine friends to help track vaccination and ownership records.

Activists have also demanded a complete ban on butchering dogs for table use, a controversial social issue which has caused international criticism and catcalls.

Eating dogs have settled as a Korean tradition for ages, but the population of eating dog meat has dropped dramatically in recent years thanks to an active campaign by animal lovers. Dog meat lovers and restaurants claim that eating dog is nothing different from eating beef, pork, or horse meat while activists say dogs are bred in meat farms and slaughtered in a cruel and unhygienic way.