President Moon Jae-in followed through on an election promise by adopting a dog rescued from the meat industry.
In a move supporting animal right in South Korea, the Cheong Wa Dae (“Blue House,” or the president’s residence in Seoul) has announced that Tory is now the country’s “First Dog.”
The 4-year old small black mixed breed was adopted by the president from the Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), an animal rights group. This is the first time South Korea has
ever had a First Dog.
CARE works to actively campaign against the dog meat industry in Asia, and President Moon’s rescue of Tory is being viewed by CARE as sending a big message to those in the meat trade.
Bias on Top of Cruelty
Tory was rescued from a dog meat farm by CARE two years ago, but has not been able to find a home because of the bias which exists in South Korea against black dogs. This phenomenon, commonly called black dog syndrome, exists in many other places as well (including the U.S.).
Black dogs and cats tend to have considerably longer shelter stays and lower adoption rates than other pets.
President Moon made it clear that his adoption of Tory should show us that animals and people should be free from discrimination and prejudice.
President Moon built his campaign partially around animal rights; he pledged to build more facilities for stray cats and more pet playgrounds. He originally intended to completely ban the dog meat trade, but stopped short; he said the reason for this is that he think he should be phased out, rather than banned abruptly.
Tory now has two new pet siblings who now share President Moon as a dad; a dog called Maru and a rescued cat named Jjing-jjing. Tory has been welcomed with anticipation by members of political circles.
Last week, the president was presented with a luxury doggy bed by the Justice Party. They wanted to make it clear that the gift wasn’t violating any anti-corruption laws, because it was for the dog and not for the president himself.
What We Can Do
South Korea is the only Asian country in which dogs are regularly and intensively farmed as meat for human consumption.
It is estimated that about 2 million dogs are kept in 17,000 facilities at any given time. Here, they are neglected and left to be exposed to the elements while being fed barely enough food to stay alive.
Many dogs suffer from malnutrition and disease, and they are often victims of cruelty on top on this neglect.
They are typically killed by being electrocuted. This happens in full view of other dogs, and their deaths are usually terrifying and painful.
Humane Society International is one of the leading global organizations helping to stop this practice in Asia.
Click here to sign a petition asking South Korea to stop this cruel and neglectful practice now.