Police in Busan launched an investigation Tuesday into a report that a person drove a car with a dog dragged behind it last week.
A civic group called Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth has filed a complaint with the city police after receiving a tip from a witness. Video footage shot on April 29 shows a large dog on a leash being dragged behind a city car. It has been circulated on the Internet and TV channels triggering calls against animal cruelty.
“Although passing-by cars honked horns and pedestrians motioned, the driver kept driving without pulling his car over,” the Seoul-based group said on its website, citing a witness.
The incident comes less than two weeks after another dog was found to have been killed while being dragged behind an upscale sedan on a Seoul highway.
The earlier case prompted an immediate uproar among Internet users and animal rights activists after a picture emerged on an online forum.
The driver surnamed Oh was questioned by police but released without any charges. The 44-year-old businessman reportedly said that he tied his beagle inside the trunk then left it open as he was worried the dog would suffocate. The dog then somehow got out from the trunk.
In Korea, only deliberate animal abuse is subject to penalties of up to one year in prison or a maximum 10 million won ($8,860) fine. About 4 million households are estimated to be raising a pet.
Critics say the animal protection laws are too lenient and vague. The activist group, which staged a rally against the handling of the Seoul case, is collecting signatures online for a legislative revision.