Animal cruelty persists despite the long history of coexistence between people and animals on our planet.
In a recent shocking incident, more than 1,000 abandoned dogs were starved to death by a 60-year-old man in South Korea’s Yangpyeong village located in Gyeonggi province, 60 km east of Seoul, media reports said.
South Korean police investigating the animal abuse case said that the accused has admitted to “taking in abandoned dogs and starving them until they died,” The Korea Herald reported.
Also read: Severed Head, Mutilated Bodies: How grisly cat killings have Japan on edge
According to the report, the canines were found after a resident reported their lost dog to the police.
The decomposing carcasses of the abused dogs formed a layer on the ground, which was then covered with other bodies to form a row.
Dogs that had been starved were housed in cages, bags, and rubber boxes.
Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), a South Korean animal rights organisation, released a video depicting the scene when rescuers arrived at the ordinary-looking residence.
The disturbing footage shows dozens of canines being caged and left to rot while animal carcasses are stacked on top of one another.
The footage showed malnourished, matted fur, and inhumanely kept pets.
Animal rights activists claimed that the man was being paid by dog breeders to get rid of puppies who were too old to reproduce or weren’t any longer visually appealing.
According to the video’s description, animal rights group CARE employees estimated that 300 to 400 corpses were visible.
“I had to look inside at the scene as much as possible, and even though I was determined to bring out the truth and talk to the abuser, my heart is so heavy,” the video’s description in Korean stated.
According to a spokesperson of CARE, the accused was given 10,000 won for each dog starting in 2020 to “take care of them” before locking them up and starving them to death, cable news channel MBN reported.
As per the animal rights group, dogs were even forced to eat the decomposing flesh on the floor, eventually starved to death in their cages.
Four dogs that made it through the horrifying conditions are now being treated at a clinic for malnutrition and skin conditions. According to the South China Morning Post, two of the four dogs are in severe condition.
The deceased canines would be removed this week, according to the municipal authorities in Yangpyeong.
Also read: Yet another pit bull attack: Do they make good household pets?
Animal abuse in South Korea
As per Mirror, South Korea is home to over six million pet dogs and 2.6 million cats.
According to South Korea’s Animal Protection Act, pet owners can be punished if they do not “fulfil their rightful duty as a pet owner,” which includes failing to feed the animals or provide them with water.
Under this act, those who are found responsible for the deaths of their pets can face up to three years in prison or fines of up to 30 million won (about $23,000).
Under the previous Animal Protection Act, such acts of negligence were not subject to punishment as they were not deemed animal abuse.
Animal abuse incidents are steadily increasing in South Korea despite the country’s strict animal protection law.
Throughout the nine years from 2010 to 2019, according to Mirror, animal abuse cases rose from 69 to 914.
The Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency of the agricultural ministry reports that there have been an additional 40,000 instances of animals being abandoned.
Also read: Of Mice and Men: Man booked for water-torturing rat to death in running drain, autopsy ordered
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), animal abusers tend to repeat their crimes as well as commit similar offences against members of their own species. This phenomenon is known to law-enforcement and human professionals as “the link.”
The animal rights group cited a study by Northeastern University and the Massachusetts SPCA in the US that people who abuse animals are “five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans.”
It further stated that animals also frequently become victims in homes plagued by violence.
What can be done?
Courage and kindness can help fight against brutality and cowardice.
It’s crucial to instil an understanding of other living things in children at a young age.
If you believe an animal is in imminent danger, please contact your local animal control, police or the humane organisation immediately.
Compassionate individuals can go to extra mile to help animals by advocating for their rights.
With inputs from agencies