Disgraced South Korean president 'abandoned puppies'

Posted March 20, 2017

South Korean prosecutors summoned ousted President Park Geun-hye Wednesday to appear for questioning next week in the corruption scandal that forced her from office.

She returned to her private home in the Gangnam area of Seoul, the capital.

After she left the presidential Blue House on Sunday, she issued a statement hinting of defiance, saying: "It will take time, but I believe the truth will be revealed".

Now, animal rights groups are accusing Park of animal abandonment.

But Kim Ae Ra, who leads the Korea Alliance for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the group had filed a complaint with South Korea's anti-corruption and civil rights commission over Park's treatment of the animals.

The commission has since referred the incident to the National Police Agency.

South Korea's ousted president has angered animal lovers by leaving her nine pet dogs behind when she left her official residence. They are Korean Jindos, a breed of hunting dogs renowned for displaying loyalty. Park would often post photographs of herself with them on her Facebook page. The pair had seven puppies in January this year.

Kim said the dogs would remain at the presidential palace until they were old enough to be sent to new owners.

"She [Park] told Blue House staff to take good care of the dogs and to find good foster homes for the puppies if necessary", the spokesman added.

Park Geun-hye is seen with her pet dogs at the presidential Blue House in Seoul.

Animal abandonment is punishable by a fine of up to 1m won (£715).

Ms Park's decision to leave the dogs behind has triggered a heated reaction from dog lovers, who flooded social media with angry remarks. Many people were angry.

Parliament passed an impeachment motion against Park in December, and the court formally removed her from office on Friday. Since November, Park's attorneys have repeatedly refused to cooperate with in-person questioning by prosecutors and the Special Prosecutor. The court concluded that the former president had helped her friend Choi Soon-sil extract bribes from South Korean conglomerates, leaked her confidential documents, and then lied to cover up her wrongdoing.