Top S. Korean Dog Rescue Group Revealed Euthanasia Scandal
It is revealed that one of the largest South Korean animal right groups, Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth(CARE), has arbitrarily euthanized over 230 dogs in the past three years, against its constantly claimed “No Kill” ethos. According to a top executive of CARE ,Lim Hee-jin, this euthanasia practice, ordered by the group’s director, Park So-yeon, was to deal with overcrowding of the shelter and the euthanized has been listed as adopted.
CARE is a prominent South Korean animal rescue group with a publicly acclaimed “NO KILL” policy. It has over 23,000 members and receive about $2.4 million in annual donations from animal lovers. CARE has exerted great influence on animal welfare protection in South Korea. Even Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea, adopted one of his first dogs, Tory, from CARE in 2017.
The secret euthanasia was brought to light by the senior manager, Lim Hee-jin, on January via Newstapa, a South Korean investigative website.
“Only a few executives were aware. I asked her to just come clean: Say that we were holding them but had to put them down. We can honestly tell people that,” Lim said in an interview with CBS. “She said no, because we had euthanized too many.”
Later a recording of two women discussing on euthanasia was posted online, which is thought to be a conversation between Park and Lim. It happened after CARE rescued a group of dogs from dog fighting in 2016. Some members at that time wanted to know the updates of these doggies, some of which had been secretly euthanized under Park’s order. Park in the recording suggested to buy some dogs to cover up the suspicious reduction of number.
As a response to the public rage, Park posted a statement, claiming that only dogs under incurable illnesses were exterminated after much effort in their treatment, to make room for new comers. She said that the euthanized just accounted for a small amount of rescue dogs. According to a CARE employee, however, only 10% of the euthanized suffered from incurable pains while most were put down for their large sizes.
The euthanasia practice was only known among the top executives, which was overwhelmingly shocking for its employees. Many protested at the organization’s offices, asking Park to resign. Some even broke out crying in great disappointment to the group and with pangs of guilt for the innocent lives.
“I’m very ashamed and terribly sorry for the animals that died for no reason,” said Lee Mi-hee, who worked at CARE rescuing dogs for two and a half years.
This deception also upset the group’s donors who are reducing funding for it. This change has worried many employees since there are still 600 animals in the shelter for adoption.
In this game of fame and money, rescue dogs are the only victims. Hope their settlement will not be ignored in the dealing of the scandal.
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