Controversies have been aroused over Kim Hee Chul’s statement on abandoned dogs that may encourage people to have a negative prejudice against abandoned animals.
In the latest episode of JTBC’s program “Petkage”, Kim Hee Chul said, “I really respect those who raise abandoned dogs”. He shared, “Honestly, experts in raising puppies would never recommend abandoned dogs to first-time dog owners.”
He further explained, “Abandoned dogs have been hurt once, so it would take such a long time for them to adapt to a new environment with a new owner”. He added, “Therefore, people who do not know what hurt their dogs before may eventually hurt them once again.”
In other words, Kim Hee Chul tried to say that abandoned dogs are hard to raise because they need time to adapt to the new environment, so it would not be easy for novice owners to raise them.
Many viewers who watched the show claimed that Kim Hee Chul’s statement was inappropriate. They left comments on the homepage of JTBC’s “Petkage”, saying “Did he just encourage people to get a pet in the petshops?”, “Is this a show to promote that people cannot raise abandoned dogs?”, “Is this really a program for pets?”
Meanwhile, on August 27, KARA (the community of Korea Animal Rights Advocates) criticized Kim Hee Chul’s statement on their official Instagram: “A misleading information about abandoned animals was broadcasted, and it may cause people not to want to raise abandoned pets.”
They added, “While many people are trying to change the wrong perception of abandoned dogs, a celebrity just came on a show and encouraged the prejudice against abandoned dogs. The power of broadcasting is stronger than you may think.”