A recent case of four residents from rural Iksan, Korea, butchering and eating a missing Old English Sheepdog is gaining a lot of attention on and offline in Korea. The dog owner argues that the neighbors captured, killed, and ate the dog, but the four residents claim that the dog was already dead on the side of the road when they found it and that they merely picked up the dead dog and ate it.
Whether the dog was alive when it was picked up will be an important question. If the dog was dead, they could be charged with theft by finding, but if the dog was killed by them, they would be also charged with animal abuse. Theft by finding will allow the court to sentence them up to a year in prison or a fine of up to $3,000 USD. While an animal abuse charge would add an additional $10,000 USD maximum fine with an added year in prison.
The Old English Sheepdog was named Heart and was 10-years-old.
From the security camera footage that was captured, it shows the middle-aged men, holding sticks and walking around the dog, but it is unclear if the dog was alive at the time.
The owner of the dog, Ms. Chae, wrote on her personal blog, "The dog was like my child. He was missing only for 2 days and came back as someone's leftovers...We must set a precedent and punish these abusers so something like this can be prevented."
However one of the 4 people accused of the crime insisted, "The dog was already dead with its body stiff; it would have been a waste to just throw it away."
Korean netizens are expressing their rage and have started a petition to charge the 4 people with the most aggressive charges and asking for max punishment by the law. So far there are 14,400 people who have signed and the number is increasing by the minute. Many are also submitting civil petitions directly to the Iksan district police department, requesting the police to be stern in their investigation.