Rise in Abandoned Dogs on Korea’s East Coast

During summer holidays, the number of abandoned dogs increases to twice more than usual. The government has implemented an animal registration system using microchips but it doesn’t seem to prevent some people from abandoning their pets. Every year, more than 100,000 dogs are abandoned. If they are not able to find new owners, they are euthanised.

Article from SBS:

Number of abandoned dogs on the east coast has risen.


This month many abandoned dogs have been found around summer resorts. More than a half of them seem to have been abandoned by their owners after summer holidays. Mr. Cho reports.


A dog is tied to a tree in a parking lot at a pension in Gangneung. Tourists found him roaming around without an owner.

Ms. Jeong, who reported the abandoned dog, says, “I just tied him to the tree as I have young kids to take care of. I kept looking around to find where his owner might be but there was nobody.”

During summer holidays, the number of abandoned dogs near summer resorts has increased dramatically.

This is an animal shelter in Gangneung. 54 out of 58 abandoned dogs living here were found this month. It has been presumed that half of them were abandoned by summer vacationers.

Mr. Jeong, team leader at the animal shelter in Gangneung, says some people tie their dogs up in the middle of nowhere. Or, they just put their dogs down on the roads near valleys or beaches and drive away.

From this year, owners are able to register their pets. However, most abandoned dogs don’t have microchips.

Mr. Jeong, a manager of the animal shelter in Gangneung, says, “The reasons for abandonment are various; As pets grow, they are not small or cute anymore, and a bigger space is needed. People start to be annoyed by their shedding fur, behaviour, diseases, feeding, etc.”

The animal shelter keeps abandoned dogs for about 10 days so the owners may come and take their dogs. However, less than 20% of the dogs meet their owners again. Only about 40% of abandoned dogs are sent to new owners, while the rest of them die a natural death or are euthanised.

Comments from Naver:

They are living creatures. Be responsible for them.


That’s really wrong. How uncivilized.


Humans are the scariest [beings] in the world.




Those who abandoned dogs should be treated the same by their children.


If you can’t take responsibility for your pets, don’t try to raise them in the first place. Throwing them out because they are ill or they are not cute any more as they get older, or because they are too active. Why do you throw away dogs like they are trash?


If I find you abandoning dogs during holidays, you will be dead.


They abandon their family..


Honestly, people who abandon dogs should be reborn as dogs and should be thrown away too. Then they will realise the pain they gave to their pets.


Don’t raise them if you’re not responsible.


I’m raising 2 dogs and can’t understand those people throwing dogs away on the street. Why do they start to raise pets in the first place?


It is pissing me off. They are devils. Abandoned dogs may keep waiting for their owners to come back..


They are such SOBs. Even calling them sons of bit**s is too generous for them. Dogs don’t abandon humans.


This is so cruel.. They are just heartless.


They are worse than a brute. I hope they will be punished some day.

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  • commander

    Having a pet dog requires a huge financial commitment and enduring affection for an owner.

    This means those who are willing to have a pet dog need to pause before make a decision to get one, thinking about whether he or she can commit themselves to live with a pet as life companion.

    Unfortunately, those who abandon their pet dogs during vacation are unaware of the fact that just being curious of having a pet dog is hugely different from being responsible for a creature.

    I guess those who desert their animals should be heavily fined. We also need to put in place a report for reward system where a reward is given to people who spot a pet dog being abandoned and report it to the police with appropriate evidence like pictures of that dog and a presumed owner.

  • crxrunn

    I’m glad the majority of comments show the correct response… I’ve never been a pet owner myself, and that’s because I knew I wouldn’t be able to fully commit to the responsibilities of having one (being a student and all).

    I hope people would have more foresight when making long-term decisions like this. You shouldn’t purchase a pet on impulse, and neither should you abandon one because it grows up or gets costly. It’s not like I can’t identify with wanting a pet because it’s cute, but if you didn’t think that far ahead you shouldn’t have gotten one.

  • HaydenG

    There is a similar problem in Taiwan.

    • bumfromkorea

      There’s a similar problem everywhere. Remember the stray dog problem in Sochi before the Olympics? And the animal shelters in America, ironically enough, euthanizes more dogs (in millions) than the dogs eaten by the Koreans each year (something like 90,000 pounds of dog meat).

      Dogs aren’t “family” or “friends” in the Western countries; they’re toys. Their balls are cut off, their vocal cords are surgically stripped, and they’re thrown away with the rest of the old furniture and electronics when they’re no longer useful.

  • Truck Furniture Maker

    People think of dogs as toys and status symbols, not living creatures.

  • rosebud

    i heard about dogs getting thrown out of moving cars… how can people do this? they don’t deserve the love that dog gave them.. breaks my heart :(

  • Guest

    why not just capture all the strays and the ones that aren’t being adopted and make a traditional gaejangguk?

    • Japan Guest

      And why don’t you just go stuff your face with Fukushima whales?

  • Guest

    So now that they’ve decided to cut canines out their diet it’s still a problem???

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