Animal rights activists in South Korea have called for the rescue of hundreds of pet dogs left behind on Yeonpyeong Island, following a bombardment from North Korea recently.
North Korean military forces rained missiles down on the island, which lies upon a contested border, killing two marines and two citizens. The attack precipitated a mass exodus of nearly all of the island’s 1,500 inhabitants on ferries, which were too crowded to transport their pet dogs.
Now, spokesperson for the Korean Society for Animal Freedom, Jeon Gyeong Ok, estimates that there are between 200 and 300 dogs left caged, chained up or roaming the island without anybody being on hand to care for them.
The campaign is starting to gain the support of South Koreans; so far, an online petition calling upon the government to take action has 12,000 signatures, a figure that is increasing daily.
The petition states that rescuing the animals that have been left on the island and providing them with food and shelter is “the least we can do to minimize the emotional damage”.
In fact, one group has already sprung into action in an effort to evacuate the abandoned animals. The Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), another animal activist group, has dispatched a number of their members to Yeonpyeong Island to begin a rescue operation, and a number of veterinarians have made plans to travel there as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, the danger does not appear to have passed. South Korean authorities have urged everyone to leave the island, including a number of journalists, as they believe that more missile strikes from North Korea may be on the cards.