These days, nearly 1 out of 3 people raise companion animals in their homes. Companion animals are and should be treated as members of the family. However, some people treat companion animals in a way that are not acceptable. ST discusses current problems on raising a companion animal, and provides you proper guidelines on raising them.............................................................................................Ed
Seeing a dog strolling on the street is part of our everyday life. According to Gallup Korea, 28.8% of Koreans are living with a companion animals. There are so many companion animals in South Korea that three out of 10 people are living with their companion animals. However, there are many suffering animals because of people’s ignorance.
While there is a 78% companion animal rate in South Korea, there are many reported cases of trendy dogs for sale. From the Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds, which were trendy in the 2000s, to the Bichon Frise and Welsh corgi breeds that are currently the trend, it has become endless. Why is such trend in dog sales a problem? The ‘puppy mill,’ formed by the group of unethical animal hoarders, is expanding to produce many breeds of trend dogs. In a puppy mill, animal hoarders keep dogs in a cage, and let them give birth constantly. If dogs get sick or can’t give birth anymore, animal hoarders either sell them as food or kill them. The facilities are unsanitary because they don’t exert an effort in cleaning them. Also, the dog trend is related to the problem of ‘abandoned dogs.’ According to the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, the number of abandoned Pomeranian dogs increased from 399 in 2010 to 1,652 last year. Since the Pomeranian became popular two years ago, the number of abandoned dogs kept increasing. It means that there are many cases in which people abandoned their companion animals because of the difficulty of raising them after buying them just because of their beautiful appearance.
There are still many people who recognize a companion animal as a pet, rather than as a member of the family. Thus, they recognize their companion animal as a doll. There are people who make their companion animal suffer to take a picture for fun. The 'sky shot,' which was recently talked about on SNS, is to throw a companion animal into the sky, and take a picture of it. Also, there are people who cut the tail of their dogs just because it looks better without the tail than with the tail. The Welsh corgi, which has a short tail, had long tails when they were born.
Then, what is the right attitude for those who live with their companion animal? Having a pet as a ‘companion’ does not imply ownership. We must dismiss the idea that we are the owner of the pet, and explore the way we live with them continuously. It is time to recognize and improve the system on companion animals because of increasing animal issues in recent times.
Joo So-young (Web Editor)