August 1, 2017 Photos by: South Korean Blue House/Facebook
It’s not often we see politicians keep election promises, but South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in has, and in doing so, has rescued a dog once meant for the meat market.
Sadly, it’s no secret that in some parts of South Korea, the consumption of dog meat is common, and often considered a delicacy. There are over 17,000 dog meat farms in South Korea, and there are currently no laws regarding a dog farming.
Which is why the adoption of a dog from an Animal Sanctuary during ‘Bok Nai,’ (a time when most dog meat is traditionally consumed by South Koreans) by South Korea’s new president appears to be an action that shows his support for better animal rights for the pets of the country.
The President’s official Facebook page presented the “First Dog,” Tory–an adorable four-year-old mutt who was adopted from the Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) shelter. Tory is the first shelter dog to ever be a “First Dog,” though certainly not the first “First Dog.” Moon’s ousted predecessor Park Geun-hye had nine dogs at the ‘Palace’ and even left them there (for their own protection, she says) when she left.
CARE works tirelessly to campaign against the dog meat culture in Asia, and believe that the President’s adoption of Tory will send a strong message of support for their cause. Tory was rescued from a dog meat farm two years ago, but was not ever adopted because there are also cultural prejudices against black dogs in South Korea as well. The President’s message is one that says humans and animals should not suffer from prejudice.
President Moon used animal rights as a big part of his campaign to become the new leader, pledging to build more facilities for pets to play in and more options for taking care of cats. Though he did not fully endorse a complete ban on dog meat trading, he said it should be phased out, and the adoption of Tory was his effort to begin that phasing.
Tory’s fur siblings are the President’s ten-year-old Pungsan named Maru and a cat named Jjing-jjing, who was once a shelter cat. Already the ‘pets’ of the white house are receiving non-partisan gifts, showing politics don’t need to prohibit people from loving on pets and giving them the rights they deserve.
Lori Ennis is a wife, mama and friend to all animals. A self-confessed “Hot Mess,” she lives wherever the Marine Corps takes her husband. Currently, that’s Maryland with her very spoiled Labrador Retriever-mix rescue pups and a ton of saltwater fish just tanking around. Lori’s family has fostered dogs for years, mostly Golden Retrievers, and knows no home is complete without an animal buddy (or seven)!