‘Dog Beach’ Provokes Backlash against Pet Owners

South Korea’s first dog-friendly beach has proven to be both an unprecedented success and a lightning rod for criticism of dogs. After the local government in the eastern city of Gangneung announced that a section of local beach was open for pets to use, dog owners flocked to the location. However, the official city website was soon flooded with complaints about the dogs, as beach-goers protested about fur in the water and dog poop in the sand. Netizens noted the uneven growth of pet ownership among Koreans, as new ideas like dog beaches and dog strollers clash with the perception that dogs are dirty and meant to be eaten.

Dog owners enjoy bringing their pets to the beach at Sageun-jin, in Gangwon Province.

Dog owners enjoy bringing their pets to the beach at Sageun-jin, in Gangwon Province.

Article from Daum:

Gangneung’s “Pet Beach” attracts support and criticism

Tensions are rising following the creation of the country’s first “pet beach”, located in the city of Gangneung.

From July 12th to August 26th, 270 meters of the 800-meter beach located near the town of Sa-geun were designated as a “pets-only beach”. Shops selling pet care products were opened along the beach, along with pet daycare locations.

Delighted with the chance to bring their pets to play on the sand and enjoy a day in the sun, pet lovers came in large numbers starting from the opening day.

25,047 visitors came to the beach during this summer season, of which 14,020 brought 8,980 pets. During the same period last year, only 15,008 people visited the beach.

Public reaction indicated that Gangneung’s beach program was a success. The pet beach program also took advantage of the fact that Korea’s total pet population has almost reached 1 million. However, a battle has erupted on the official message board for the city of Gangneung, as netizens have flooded the site with criticism of the idea of bringing pets to the beach.

On the same site, pet lovers are fighting back with requests that the beach be designated for pets next year as well.

A commenter with the last name of Min from Gyeonggi Province wrote, “When I found the pet beach, I was really happy to see parasols available for dogs to enjoy and even a pet shower stall…I hope that they will extend the days when the beach will be available to pets.”

On the other hand, a commenter by the last name of Lee complained, “Not knowing it was a beach for mutts, I was shocked to go there and see my child playing with dog poop in the sand…I was very worried that children would be playing in water filled with dog fur and drink it in by accident.”

A commenter with the last name of Kim from Paju added, “This is such a good idea that I think they should open the beach to pets the whole year.”

Daum:

기야짱:

There’s no way to keep the pet beach water separate from the rest of the ocean! That means that everyone will be swimming around in water the dogs have used to wash…The only people who like this are dog owners!!

KKMKKM:

In this recession I’m glad there’s a place like this. It’s not like dogs are Fukushima radiation or something, polluting the entire ocean. Having families come with their dogs makes it a lot cleaner than other beaches, where people just stay up all night drinking and yelling bullshit.

frgf:

As it is, people who are no better than dogs are free to enter any swimming pool.

No-8:

‘a dog’s life’ is looking like a pretty good life right now. It looks like there’s nothing you can do about it with those dog lovers tsk tsk

밀튼원정대:

They really think that dogs should be treated just like people. They are talking about how people piss in the ocean already, but who does that? Dog owners, probably. Don’t compare dogs with weird people like that, compare them with the normal majority of people who go to the beach.

레일라:

Public bath houses are filled with other peoples’ hair and dirt, does that mean you shouldn’t go in the water? But they say a little dog hair is reason to stay away.

고냥이장수:

Wow, people will say all kinds of bullshit. They are worth less than dogs..

korea-dog-beach2

라썬:

‘a dog’s life’ isn’t so bad after all

비무허공:

people are talking so much bullshit..damn

깝깝하다:

dogs are good for you, don’t blame them. Think about how dog meat can help cure tuberculosis. Eat it once and your doctor will be asking you about what kind of special medicine you are taking. Everyone should be eating dog meat, it’s medicine and food at the same time.

조용한아침:

Dogs don’t pee in the ocean. Actually, people are the ones who have accidents in the water. I don’t think it would be good for dogs to go into indoor pools, but if you set aside a stretch of beach for them I think it would be okay.

자유인:

A dog’s response: ‘pets-only beach’? people are crazy… since when have beaches all belonged to humans? Since when was nature designated for human consumption only? Is there also a humans-only area of nature?

모순타파:

They say that there was a section set aside for pets to use. I didn’t get a chance to see it in person so I don’t know the specifics, but I know there are tons of beaches in Gangwon set aside for people to use, they can’t give up a single small stretch of beach? Pet owners should also try harder to not offend other people.

Raphael:

It was the pet owners who decided they wanted pets, not all of humanity, owners should keep that in mind when they bring along their animals. If their animals harm other people, the owners should take responsibility. Don’t put dogs on the same level as humans.

마제:

It’s the pet owners who are excited about bringing their dogs to walk on the beach and swim in the water…I call that animal abuse! What, do dogs talk about how much they want to go to the beach? Cut the bullshit..

깜장고무신:

The dogs will end up pooping in the water. I’m dreading the idea of wearing my swimsuit and being in water floating with dog poop.

Raphael:

You may like kissing your dog, but I don’t do it.

조연반장엄소:

I’m allergic to dog hair.. so people who are allergic should just deal with it and avoid the beach? and are they going to know to avoid that place?

환은사랑:

Do you know how many dogs are being abandoned by their owners? Or about how many are being put to sleep because no one can find their owners? and what about the dogs who are being brutally butchered for their meat? This is the reality in Korea..Korea is still a long ways from picking up on the dog ownership culture in developed countries. Despite that, they set up a beach for pets..it’s a contradiction and out of step with current attitudes. Don’t just imitate whatever they do in other countries.. Start with the problems we already have, the government issues

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  • Brett

    Gangneung is fun. Water is so much cleaner than on the west side.

    • Pen

      Gangneung is eastern Korea, facing the Pacific, it’s pretty clean. The west side faces China, and its much dirtier.

      • Brett

        That was kind of my point…

  • Guest

    “There’s no way to keep the pet beach water separate from the rest of the ocean!
    That means that everyone will be swimming around in water the dogs have used to wash…The only people who like this are dog owners!!”

    LOL it’s ocean water… lot’s of animal “cooties” are already in the water.

  • Newsflash: Whales shit, piss, and possibly cum in your fresh ocean water.

    • mr.wiener

      I thought that was ambergris?

      • Dave Park

        Ambergris is whale vomit.

        • mr.wiener

          I think it might actually be some kind of stuff in their inner ear to do with equalizing pressure when they dive.
          They used to think it was Whale jizz ‘though. Hence the name “Sperm Whale”.

          • Dave Park

            Nope. It definitely has to do with their digestive system.

          • mr.wiener

            Cool, jizz or puke, it’s worth a lot if you can find a lump.

          • Mighty曹

            Were you in Taiwan when that whale exploded?

          • mr.wiener

            Yep, but fortunately nowhere near it.

        • Brett

          Over your head

    • Mighty曹

      The do masturbate. Ever wonder how Sperm Whale got its name?

  • terriblemovie

    Who cares about dog beaches.

    The real million dollar question is why so many hot Korean women decide to go to the beach wearing shorts and T-shirts. Seriously, whats the point? Bikinis were invented for a reason. Don’t be shy ladies.

    • Ami

      Chill, its a cultural difference. Do Korean women should encourage westerners to cover up?

  • commander

    The latest controversy over a pet beach opening reveals changes in pubic perception of dogs, with champions claiming the higher-than-expected attendence of the beach is proof in favor of a pet beach while opponents calling it as miscalculation.

    With single-person households on a remarkable rise, pets are not just animals but lifelong companions like a member of a family, advocates say who are eager to make a strong case for a pet beach in a Gyeonggi Province city.

    They say that many pet loving single households feel sorry when they are forced to go on a vacation without their loved pets.

    A 27-year-old office worker, identified by the surname Seo, said, “My dog is a real comfort to me after I broke off with my two-year-old boy friend in early this year.”

    “And I am really happy to hear the news of a pet beach opening because I spend my vacation with my lovely dog without loneliness.” She added.

    But some vacationers differ from pet lovers on a beach for pets.

    A 26 year old graudate students, Kim, majoring in chemistry at a Seoul university said, “I dont like see people bringing their dogs to beaches. They like having a fun with their dogs playing in water and around the sandbeach but often didnt clean up after their dogs, which is very unseemly to other vacationers.”

    The clash of ideas on a pet beach moved its battlefield to the website of a local municipality who first opened a pet beach. The battle line is drawn mainly between the calls for reopening the pet and the case against it citing insanitation.

    Advocates claim the huge number of pet lovers visiting the pet beach explains why the city should open the beach next year while opponents contend the smaller number of visitors without pets prove the prevalent aversion to the idea of a pet beach.

    City officials said, the city will take time to discuss this matter listening to residents’ stance.

    “We are surpried to see the positive remarks from many pet lovers on the beach, but we also keep in mind opposing views as well,” city officials said.

    The controversy surrounding a pet beach appears to rage on amid a growng number of pet owners who spend theit time with their companions during holidays.

    This comment is written on imagnations inspired by my journalistic interest, with all interviewees beinh fictious figures.

    • SimplyMe

      I find Koreans and Korea in general, an extremely close-minded country who is always adverse to change. They are very proud of their culture and want to preserve it. But it is bullsh*t because they choose what traditions they want to keep and dispose of. They have a very “holier-than-thou” attitude and always believe their way is the best way and the only way. They are incredibly stuck in their mindset. Even if they know they are wrong (I have experienced this on many occasions), they will never admit it.

  • harvz

    You’re allergic to dog hair and I’m allergic to your cigarette smoke.

    You don’t want to see dog hair in the ocean, and I don’t want to see you clearing your throat for 30 seconds and spitting a yellow oyster of snot and phlegm on the sidewalk where people are walking.

    I also don’t particularly enjoy sitting next to the people who smell like soju, fish, or sick breath — and those people love getting extra close on the buses and Metro.

    Politeness and consideration works both ways.

    • Guest

      I couldn’t agree with you more!

    • commander

      A good analogy.

      But the biggest difference between dogs and impolite people spitting on the streets and giving off smoke smell is the accountability, with those persons being subject to some penalties under relevant law, unlike the dogs.

      In addition, if you have the aversion to smoking-smelling or spittimg people, you can avoid them on the streets, you can avoid them.

      But vacationers at a pet beach has no way to avoid dog’s pooping in water. This is the second difference that can be found im your analogy.

      This means your analogy sounds less persuasive than it is at first sight.

      • guest

        first of all, why would you go to a pet beach if you don’t like pets? you can avoid pet beaches if we have to avoid rude ass people. second, dogs actually are a lot pickier than you think, they’re not gonna poop in the water.
        also i’ve never seen anyone get arrested for smoking in public, nor for being drunk in public, so where’s the accountability in that?

      • harvz

        While I understand your point, I wasn’t clear enough in making my own.

        Sure there are pet owners who are dicks and don’t clean up their dog’s poop, there are also equally dick nonpet owners who do inconsiderate things in ever day life. That’s the risk of going into public, so they should quit complaining so much.

        My 2c

        • commander

          If the claim that the comparison of pet beaches and public places is right, it has more similarities than differences.

          Bit my view is that there are more divergencies on that matter as the sujects in the comparison are completely different in terms of accountabilitiesand possible ways that can be found to get around troubles caused by the two.

          Some might argue that if some visitors dont like dogs on beaches, it is they that needs to find out other beaches not allowing dogs.

          But the pet beach in question didnt permit dogs, and the change is made this year.
          This means some regular visitors to that beach are upset with the change and tjey have the same right to vocie oppsotion to the change as pet lovers have the right to be in favor.

          Some commentators implitictly claim tha the comparison you made is justifiable, citing some anecdotal examples, which cant mask the fundamental dissimilarities between humans snd animals.

      • pressstart

        How does one avoid smokers and/or spitters? Staying off the streets? If you need to get around crowded areas, tell me how would you avoid the smell of cigarettes if the smoker is walking nearby? Walk faster, even if they walk fast already? Stop to let them get ahead and obstruct traffic around you?

        What about spitters? Someone decides to spit as you walk by. I don’t see how you can avoid someone that spontaneously spits on the floor.

  • Guest

    Some people’s comments make me sick! As if people, especially small children don’t pee in the water. It’s disgusting that a lot of Koreans think dogs are only good for meat. Many countries have dog beaches. There is nothing wrong with pet owners bringing their dogs to the beach. Dogs should be able to cool down especially in this heat. Its crazy that some people whine about dogs at a beach but they think its ok for people to have to put up with drunks stumbling around the streets making noise at all hours of the night! As for the person who made the comment not to put dogs on the same level as people, I have only lived in this country a short time but I’m shocked and a little turned off by how some people act here and I think some dogs act better than some humans!

    • Yaminah Jamison

      I agree generally with what you said but on the defense of the comments above, it has been recent that dogs are being seen as pets in Korea so their attitude isn’t that shocking towards the dog-human level comparison.

    • lasolitaria

      WTF? How can you compare dogs and people? I’d rather put up with the noisy drunk guys than with fucking dogs barking the whole night. In fact, If I was told I had to kill a thousand dogs to save a drunkard’s life, I’d be done doing it before the other guy even finished the sentence. There it is, I just said it. Meanwhile, keep your disgusting vermin out of our beaches.

  • Dave Park

    Some dog-friendly beaches in the US have small waste bags and have fines if a beach patrol catches someone not cleaning up after their dog. South Korea should have the same rule.

    Oh and to the guy who complained with reason about being allergic to dog hair… Wet dogs don’t shed so much.

  • Isaac

    Why stop at ‘Dog Beaches’?

    Make room for pigs, llamas and other animals too. This is discriminatory. Oh save em’ PETA!

  • Yaminah Jamison

    Pretty sure it’s more likely for a human to pee in the ocean than a dog. Other animals live live in the ocean… where do people think their waste goes? If going to make a dog/pet beach, regulations should be enforced. Make people clean up aftee their animals… have people patrol the beach just for that. It’s not the animal’s fault they’re owned by inconsiderate people. But like someone mentioned below…. why go to a dog beach if you don’t like dogs? And if it was overcrowded like that too if I had a dog I wouldn’t go since everyone else with one is too and most likely aren’t being responsible anyway.

  • Peter Pottinger

    LOLOLOLOLOL

    people .. you also understand fish live in the ocean, and poop in the ocean? The ocean is a HUGE ecosystem of millions of species. Are they going to protest against fish next!???

    As they say to retards, get your head out of the sand.

    Anyways the easy solution is just to have somebody comb the beach and do a cleanup on a daily basis. With the increase in revenue tax the vendors and it should be no problem.

    • chucky3176

      There are fish poops, bird poops, the seas are full of poops. But they all breakdown eventually. But now add radiation into the mix with runaway Fukushima nuclear plants spewing toxins into the environment. Those won’t break down so easily.

      Let them keep their dog beaches, just enforce a rule that you have to pick up the poops on the beach, or else a severe fine is in order.

  • hordy

    “dogs are good for you, don’t blame them. Think about how dog meat
    can help cure tuberculosis. Eat it once and your doctor will be asking
    you about what kind of special medicine you are taking. Everyone should
    be eating dog meat, it’s medicine and food at the same time.”

    Korean “facts”. smfh

    • chucky3176

      No. The writer was just being sarcastic. It didn’t come off well in the translation.

      • hordy

        Right, wouldn’t surprise me if he was serious though.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    “That means that everyone will be swimming around in water the dogs have used to wash…”

    Heaven forbid dog dander and hair get in the ocean. Then it will dirty up the ocean with all that clean bacteria, fish excrement, and sewage.

  • Ami

    Please stop acting like letting your animals crap every is okay.
    Pee is (RELATIVELY) harmless. Shit is not.
    While its common to pee in water, both people and animals pooping in it can quickly lead to the spread of disease and other infections. Thats why cleaning up dog shit is so imperative. In fact, Dog poop is actually a major contributor to water pollution and stinky shoes.
    Fish waste=/= land animal waste.

    • Rinetto Shii

      Shutup

    • SimplyMe

      DOGS WILL NOT EXCRETE WASTE IN THE WATER FOR F***’S SAKE!

  • 리키범

    Any dog that doesn’t fit in a purse has a terrible life in Korea. I can honestly say 95% of the dogs I have seen outside have been tied up with a 2-3 ft. lease, sitting on hot concrete, doing nothing all day. I really don’t care that they aren’t getting cuddly western style they’ve replaced my wife/husband love, but I guarantee you they never get any exercise.

    I could describe many depressing and cruel things that I have seen dogs endure here in Korea (other than be slaughtered). I am not an animal person, but WTF would you want a dog if it just sits there on a lease and does nothing its entire life? WHY?? I’ve boiled it down to the a napoleon complex, since most of the owners I see are little ajusshi trolls that harass and treat the dogs like trash.

    more power to Korea for doing things like this to enter the civilized world…

    • SimplyMe

      This is something I will never understand either. I’ve been told it’s a status symbol, showing they can afford to keep a dog. It makes no sense to me whatsoever.

  • SimplyMe

    There is something seriously wrong with the thinking in Korea when it comes to humane treatment towards animals. I will not argue that every culture has its differences and I will not criticize this country for eating dog meat, as other places eat animals such as horses or rabbits, etc. However, might people who believe eating dogs is healthy for you take just a minute to do an ounce of research. Dogs raised for meat are treated like shit; they are fed leftover rotting food or starved half to death. They are raised in disease-filled environments and live under extreme duress everyday of their sad lives. All for the sake of selfish human beings. What an animal eats is what ends up in your system so just think about what you are ingesting when you are eating boshintang. In addition, dogs were eaten as meat when Korea as poor as fuck; it was a last resort. The fact that South Korea is now one of the leading nations of the world when it comes to modernization and still practices such a foul and backwards tradition is a huge SHAME. If you want to argue that traditions are meant to be kept, then you should think about all the disgusting practices that have been abolished both in Korea and around the world. Times change, people need to change, as well as nations. Eating dog meat does NOTHING to improve your health. With any animal, even if they are bred for meat to satisfy our omnivorous appetites, must they be tortured the way they are here in this country?? Dogs have personalities, they bond with humans, they are our best friends. Disgusting ajummas spit everywhere, noone washes their hands after using the bathroom, ajeossis piss on the street and yet people have the audacity to complain that dogs are dirty? Why shouldn’t dogs be treated as equals to human, they are SO much better than us. It makes me SICK to see some of the comments on this thread, I hope one day you all feel the pain these animals feel. For all of you who treat dogs like nothing and abandon them, I hope one day when you are old or sick or vulnerable, your closest family members desert your sorry ass and leave you to die alone and miserable. I am Korean by ethnicity but I am TRULY ASHAMED of this country.

  • Whirly Pop

    There’s like thousands of rotting corpses there right now. These dogs should be the least of their concern.

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