Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye left her nine pet dogs behind when she left her official accommodation after being ousted from her post on corruption charges, reported BBC. A Blue House spokesperson said the two adult Jindo dogs and their puppies would live in the presidential palace till they were fit to be sent to new homes.
A complaint has been filed against Park’s decision to leave the dogs behind. The Korea Alliance for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has moved the country’s anti-corruption and civil rights commission in connection with the case. The commission has forwarded the case to the National Police Agency.
According to the country’s animal protection law, an abandoned animal is one that is found wandering without a human companion or deserted in paper boxes. Such an action attracts a fine of up to 1m won (£715). Pet parents are also fined in the country if they do not inform authorities of a change in ownership within 30 days. Going by this definition, Park’s pets have technically not been abandoned yet.
The reports about the animal abandonment have led to strong criticism of the former state leader. “It seems that Park Geun-hye is a person who entirely lacks empathy,” Park Jeong-eon, a citizen, told AP. “Whether it’s for humans or for animals.”
On March 10, South Korea’s Constitutional Court upheld the Parliament’s decision to impeach Park from the post of president, marking her formal exit from office. She was embroiled in a massive corruption scandal and her impeachment left the country in severe political turmoil.
Park had been accused of colluding with Choi Soon-sil, a long-time friend and confidante, to extort money in the form of donations from South Korean companies. The money, which was transferred to non-profit foundations controlled by Choi, was allegedly used for personal gains. Park was also accused of ordering her aides to leak official state documents to Choi, who has no official position in the South Korean government.
She is the country’s first democratically elected leader to be ousted from office. South Korea will hold its presidential election on May 9.