Ousted S. Korea President's New Problem: Her Dogs

Park is being investigated for animal abandonment
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 15, 2017 3:57 AM CDT
Supporters of ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye gather in front of her private home in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, March 15, 2017. South Korean prosecutors said Wednesday they plan to summon...   (Ahn Young-joon)
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(Newser) – It was hard to imagine that ousted President Park Geun-hye could get any more unpopular in South Korea—until she moved out of the presidential palace and left her nine dogs behind. Just days after being removed from office by the Constitutional Court over a massive corruption scandal, an animal rights group accused Park of animal abandonment for not bringing the dogs with her, the AP reports. Park's neighbors had given her a pair of Jindo dogs, a Korean breed of hunting dogs, when she left for the presidential Blue House in 2013. The dogs recently gave birth to seven puppies, which are now considered too young to be separated from their mother, a Blue House spokesman says.

The spokesman says the dogs will stay at the presidential palace until they're ready to be sent to new owners. Park told staff members to take good care of the dogs before vacating the Blue House on Sunday, he says. Park's decision to leave the dogs behind touched off a heated reaction from dog lovers, who flooded social media with angry remarks. Kim Ae Ra, who heads the Korea Alliance for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the group filed a complaint Monday with South Korea's Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission over Park's dogs. The commission then asked the National Police Agency to look into it. Animal abandonment is punishable by a fine of up to $873. People who fail to report an ownership change in pets within 30 days can also face fines of up to $436. (Read more Park Geun-hye stories.)

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