Over 1,000 dogs found starved to death in man's home in South Korea

The man, unnamed, claimed that he collected abandoned dogs and starved them to death.

Ruth Chai | March 08, 2023, 08:59 AM

Warning: This article contains descriptions of animal abuse. Viewer discretion is advised.

More than 1,000 dogs have been found allegedly starved to death in the premises of a house in the South Korean village of Yangpyeong, located in Gyeonggi province, 60km east of Seoul.

The police are investigating a man in his 60s on charges of violating animal protection law.

The man, unnamed, claimed that he collected abandoned dogs and starved them to death.

Horrific sight

The Korea Herald reported that the dogs were found after a resident reported their lost dog to the police.

South Korean animal rights group Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) posted a video documenting what rescuers saw when arriving at the innocuous-looking house.

The video contains distressing images of animal carcasses stacked and rotting on top of one another as scores of dogs were caged and left to die.

The video documented the dogs kept in inhumane conditions, fur matted and emaciated.

CARE staff estimated that 300 to 400 corpses were seen, the video's description wrote.

"I had to look inside at the scene as much as possible, and even though I was determined to bring out the truth and talk to the abuser, my heart is so heavy," the video's description read, translated from Korean.

When the bodies of dead dogs rotted and were stuck to the ground, it created a new layer for more dogs to be placed on top of it.

Dogs were forced to eat the decomposing flesh on the floor, and eventually starved to death in their cages.

"The corpses were piled up in various places in the rubber barrels lined up in the yard," the description stated.

CARE staff noticed bones and carcasses scattered all over the compound.

The animal rights activists alleged that the man was paid by dog breeders to "take care of" dogs that could not breed any longer or whose commercial value has diminished.

A representative of CARE told cable news channel MBN that the man was paid 10,000 won (approximately S$10) per dog, The Korea Herald reported.

The man purportedly committed the atrocities since 2020.

The video's description stated that four live dogs were rescued from the house and are under treatment at a clinic.

All of them were suffering from malnutrition or skin disease, and two of them were in critical condition.

The village authorities planned to clear the bodies within this week, reported The Korea Herald.

Animal abuse in South Korea

On Apr. 26, 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs promulgated the revised Animal Protection act, which will take effect from Apr. 27, 2023. 

Under the revised Animal Protection Act, pet owners can now be punished if they do not “fulfill their rightful duty as a pet owner", which includes failing to feed the animals or provide them with water.

Under South Korea's Animal Protection Act, those who are found responsible for the deaths of their pets can face up to three years in prison or a maximum fine of 30 million won (approximately S$31,011) .

Previously, such acts of negligence were not subject to punishment as they were not deemed animal abuse.

Top photo via CARE/YouTube