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Abandoned dog with note and heart sparks anger

By Cho Min-jeong

Published : Nov. 21, 2023 - 14:14

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A message is left saying, A message is left saying, "Please take good care of my dear one due to the move." (Band for Animal in Asan)

A note left by an owner who abandoned their dog has sparked angry reactions.

Nonprofit organization Band for Animals in Asan shared the story of an abandoned dog named Bonbon on social media.

According to the organization, Bonbon had been left tied up in a garage at the time of its rescue. The dog's owner left a note saying, "Please take good care of my dear one due to the move," along with a drawing of a heart pierced by an arrow at the end.

Public reactions criticized the owner's actions, with comments like, "If you can't take responsibility, don't raise a pet," and questioning why the dog had been abandoned during the move.

Bonbon (Band for Animal in Asan) Bonbon (Band for Animal in Asan)

"Bonbon has been in the shelter for three weeks and has yet to find a new family," the organization explained.

The issue of abandoned animals like Bonbon is widespread, with tens of thousands of similar cases discovered each year. According to a recent Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs report, animal shelters rescued 113,440 animals last year, but only 27.5 percent found new homes. Most either lived in shelters until their natural death or were euthanized.

Despite amendments to the Animal Protection Act two years ago that impose fines of up to 3 million won ($2,330) for animal abandonment, concerns persist about the law's effectiveness.

The Animal Registration System, implemented in 2014 to prevent abandonment, requires pet owners to register animals over 2 months old. Failure to comply can result in fines of up to 1 million won. Even after registration, owners must report changes in address or contact information. Failure to do so or neglecting to report a lost or deceased pet can incur fines of up to 500,000 won.

Band for Animals in Asan appealed to the public for a stable temporary home for Bonbon, highlighting the ongoing challenge that shelters face, including the weekly rounds of euthanasia of animals.