Including cats and dogs, nearly 81,000 pets were abandoned in Korea in 2014.
These are the results of a study conducted by Korea’s Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency on the care and welfare of animals. The agency worked with local municipalities across the country in conducting the study.
According to the study’s results, 59,000 dogs and 21,000 cats were abandoned in 2014, making up 73 and 26 percent of all abandoned animals, respectively. The remaining 1,000 is categorized as pets other than cats and dogs.The total number of 81,000 abandoned pets, meanwhile, was a 16.5 percent decrease from the 2013 figure of 97,000.
By region, Gyeonggi Province has the most abandoned pets in total with 19,700 making up 24.3 percent, followed by Seoul and Busan with 9,500 (11.8 percent) and 7,200 (8.9 percent), respectively. The numbers are proportional to the number of pets in the respective regions. The study also found that 25,500 animals found new homes in 2014, while 18,700 died of natural causes, 18,400 were euthanised, and 10,600 were returned to their previous owners. The cost of taking care of all of these animals cost nearly 10.5 million dollars last year.
In total, there are 368 animal welfare centers in Korea, 25 of which are run directly by local governments while the rest are privately managed. According to a representative of the Quarantine Agency, “The effects of a maturing pet culture and animal protection policies have led to a decrease in the number of abandoned pets, but since many pets are still being abandoned we plan to continuously push forward with new policies.”