SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s president has kept a campaign promise by adopting a shelter dog rescued from possible slaughter in a country where eating dogs is still popular.
The 4-year-old mixed breed named Tory joins two other presidential pets — a dog called Maru and a cat called Jjing-jjing. President Moon Jae-in’s office says the adoption would raise awareness over the problem of abandonment.
The rescue group bought the dog two years ago from a man who was known for luring lost dogs before abusing and eating them, said Lim Young-ki, an official from the group, Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth.
“A neighbor saw the old man kill another dog with a metal bar and persuaded him to sell Tory to save it,” Lim said Friday. “The buyer then brought Tory to us, but we had a hard time finding a new owner for him.”
It had difficulty because of prejudices against black animals, but Moon promised to adopt Tory after the group asked presidential candidates to adopt some of their protected animals.
Moon took office in May after being elected to replace former President Park Geun-hye, who was formally removed from office and arrested in March over broad corruption charges.
Park angered dog lovers when she left her nine dogs behind as she moved out of the presidential palace. Park had told her staff the seven puppies were too young to move at the time and she gave them up because she couldn’t keep them all. Blue House staff took care of the dogs before they were sent to new owners.