During his campaign, South Korea’s 19th president, Jae In Moon—who was sworn in on Monday May 10th, 2017, the day after the election—promised to adopt a dog from CARE as First Dog, the official companion dog of the First Family. Animal rights groups, animal lovers, and the Hankyoreh newspaper are demanding that he make good on this most easily-kept promise.
Animal rights groups had presented the stories of three rescued dogs to the presidential candidates and asked them to choose one to adopt as First Dog if they were adopted. President Moon chose Tori, currently sheltered by CARE.
My family and I anticipate the day we can welcome Tori as a new family member and will make sure he adjusts well to the new environment.
President Moon via his campaign last week
President Moon, who already has a dog and two cats, promised to make South Korea a better place for animals as well as people. While pledging to increase the number of playgrounds for pets, feeding facilities for stray cats, and expanding Trap, Neuter & Release programs, he only promised to phase out South Korea’s internationally condemned dog meat trade, but offered no time-frame or other details.
The First Dog Elect, named Tori, was rescued from a dog meat farm two years ago. He is a 4-year-old mongrel who has languished in our adoption center for two years because of the prejudice against black dogs. President Moon said he wanted to remove the stigma surrounding, and promote the adoption of, black and mixed-breed dogs with his adoption of Tori.
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate President Moon on his victory, and look forward to working with his administration in the future to improve the lives of animals in South Korea.