South Korea’s Park in the doghouse after ‘betraying’ her furry family
South Korea’s ousted president Park Geun-hye might need all the allies she can get, but she has left nine of man’s best friends behind after she exited her palace in disgrace.
Howls of outrage erupted on social media yesterday over the fate of the nine Jindo dogs – a Korean hunting breed renowned for its loyalty.
When Park took office in February 2013, she moved into the Blue House with two puppies named Saerom and Heemang – ‘New’ and ‘Hope’ in Korean – given to her by her former neighbours. The dogs became instant stars, with unmarried Park regularly posting photos of herself cuddling her four-legged family on Facebook, and also jokingly referring to them as the “real power holders” at the complex.
They have since had two litters, the latest, of seven puppies, only born in January. But when the former president, now a criminal suspect, moved out on Sunday evening after the constitutional court upheld her impeachment by parliament, she left all nine behind.
A presidential spokesman confirmed that the dogs were being looked after by Blue House staff for the time being – and would be found new homes.
“We plan to give them away to people who will take good care of the dogs,” he said.
Park’s abandonment of her furry friends sparked fury on social media.
One user on Instagram asked: “How can you abandon your own family like you would throw out old pair of shoes?”
An animal rights group said it has filed a complaint against her for violating animal protection law and another activist organisation – which has regularly written to her urging her to make eating dog illegal in South Korea – volunteered to take in the nine.
A Twitter poster said: “Jindo dogs never betray their master but it was Park that betrayed them.”
Meanwhile, prosecutors will summon Park for questioning as a criminal suspect, a spokesman said yesterday. Park has been named as an accomplice to the secret confidante at the heart of a corruption and influence-peddling scandal that triggered her dramatic downfall.
“We will decide Wednesday when to summon ... Park and inform her,” prosecutors said.