It was November when we received an email from a foreigner living in Yongsan, Seoul. The informant reported that an elderly man living in the basement of the same building beat his dog every night with a bat. The neighborhood could hear the dog’s cries of pain late at night.
There’s an old man who beats his dog every night. I’m worried the dog might die!
The informant had previously reported the abuse to the police after seeing him hold the dog – only the size of a forearm – by the back of the neck and smack it with a stick several times. However, the police could do nothing because the man would not respond when they visited. The informant asked us to rescue the dog before anything happened to it.
When we arrived at the house, the old man didn’t respond as expected, but after repeatedly knocking on his door, the old man reluctantly revealed himself.
In the yard there were feces and other miscellaneous trash; the dog was clearly not being taken care of properly. We found the dog—just a puppy—crouching inside a box in the boiler room on one side of the yard. It was a small Pointer with cute black dots all over his body. He shied away from the rescue crew at first, but soon wagged his tail and licked their hands when he realized he wasn’t going to get a beating this time. This left us wondering why the old man wanted to hurt such an affectionate dog.
My friend asked me to take care of the dog, but he’d chew on everything, so I hit him. Take him if you want!
We showed the man photos of the abused dog and a video of the dog screaming, all of which his neighbors had sent us. We warned him that his behavior is subject to punishment under the animal protection law. The man confessed that he beat the dog in anger, because his friend wouldn’t take him back, and he couldn’t stand it chewing on his belongings.
We couldn’t believe such a petty excuse could be a reason for abusing a puppy. The Pointer is an energetic hunting breed. It needs activity and exercise to keep it from getting bored, especially as it grows. They are also affectionate and loyal, and make great family pets.
The owner agreed to hand over the dog, and we took him to CARE’s affiliated veterinarian. The dog kept wagging his tail at the rescue crew on the way to the vet; he was remarkably bright and cheerful for a dog who had been beaten with a stick everyday. The rescue crew named him “Kaebang-yi,” referring to a Korean word for ‘playful.’
Unfortunately, Kaebang-yi’s immune system is as bad as it gets after living in a small box inside a boiler room. He has giardiasis, a type of enteritis with symptoms of vomiting and blood in the stool. His gums are swollen and bleed very easily, possibly because he was often hit in the face.
Regardless of his health problems, Kaebang-yi is an affectionate and loving dog, and would make a great addition to any family. How about yours?