For the first time in South Korea, a dog has submitted testimony to the police.
On September 20th, we visited the Cheonan Seobuk Police Station with Nova, who we rescued from being burned alive at a notorious slaughterhouse in Cheonan City. He was revived using CPR after being hanged by the neck in preparation for his slaughter. Slaughtering of dogs in this manner—and worse—had been going on for 20 years.
The slaughterhouse owner’s methods of slaughter were undeniable violations of animal rights laws, and we are calling for the authorities to impose the maximum penalty allowable under the law.
According to Clause 1 Article 8 of South Korea’s Animal Protection Act, the following acts are prohibited.
- Cruel slaughter methods, such as hanging, and
- performing the slaughter in areas visible to other animals as well as to passersby, such as from roads.
Violators can be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 2 years or fined up to 20 million KRW (Approx. 16,700 USD).
It may be a long time—if ever—for Nova to recover from the trauma of that night. Animals suffer from emotional trauma and pain just like we do.
Nova’s experience was transcribed into a first-person testimony and delivered to the investigator in charge at Cheonan Seobuk Police Station.
I was given the name Nova by my rescuers.
It was a rainy day. It had been raining since the previous night. I woke up to the smell of rain in my tiny cage. When I heard my friend next to me barking, I realized ‘it’ was happening again. I saw a brown dog being dragged out of his cage by the man under the dim moonlight.
In other cages, my friends cowered and barked in fear. However, the man did not stop. The next thing I knew, the man reappeared and grabbed the rope that was wrapped around my neck. My turn had come.
When my friends were taken by the man, they never returned. Some of my friends said they saw the chosen dogs hanging high from a crosspiece. The hanging dogs struggled as if in pain. Then there was a large beam of light and a burning smell.
I was the “chosen” dog today. I did not resist and followed the man pulling my leash.
In silence, my friends watched me walk away with the man. Outside of the building was the small brown dog I had seen earlier, now in a net helplessly trembling in fear, unable to escape or fight back.
My body was lifted into the air. I was hanging by my neck from the crosspiece. I couldn’t breathe. It was just too painful. The more I struggled, the more the rope strangled me. Hanging next to me was the small brown dog. His eyes were open, but he did not make a sound. He couldn’t. A big hook was stuck through his chin, from which his body drooped lifelessly.
Flames shot out from the torch the man was holding and spread all over the small brown dog’s body. The dog’s face was distorted in seconds.
The flames caught my ear. I had never felt anything so hot, but with the thick rope strangling me, I could not even scream in pain. My eyes started to close slowly, and my tongue dangled out of my mouth.
That is everything I felt and everything I saw that day.
Whenever I smell the rain, I cannot help but think of the nightmare of that day. Will I suffer through the same pain again one day?