|▲ Petiquette. (Resource: https://uspto.report/TM/88773545/mark.png)|
10 million people currently own pets in Korea. As single-person households become more common in the modern era, the number of pet owners has also increased. This could be because people in single-person households feel lonely, and pets offer emotional support. The increase in pet ownership has coincided with an increase in pet-related accidents. Many first-time pet owners don’t know how to properly raise pets or how to properly train them. Many people could benefit from becoming aware of petiquette (pet+etiquette).
On September 30, 2017, Ms. Kim was bitten on the shin by her neighbor's French bulldog while in her apartment building’s elevator. The dog was not on a leash and bit Ms. Kim as soon as the elevator doors opened on the ground floor. Ms. Kim, who was injured, died of sepsis after her condition deteriorated rapidly even though she was treated with antibiotics. The case is known as the Choi Si-won case. Choi (the owner of the French bulldog) and his family only paid a fine of 50,000 won and did not receive any other punishment. The bereaved family believed that Choi should have faced further punishment. Also, last May, there was a pet-related case with actor, Kim Min-kyo. In a Gwangju public garden, in Gyeonggi Province, an 80-year-old woman was seriously injured and treated at a hospital after being attacked by two dogs that lived in the neighborhood. Two large dogs that had been fenced in Kim Min-kyo's yard spotted an elk and escaped by jumping over the fence. The dogs were not muzzled and later attacked the 80-year-old woman.
In order to prevent pet-related accidents from happening pet owners should observe petiquette. According to the Animal Protection Law, “People accompanying dogs must put leashes on their dogs when going out with their dogs regardless of the size or breed of their dogs.” Also, “When going out, dogs that are likely to attack and injure people must wear muzzles.” Violations of rules related to leashes will result in a fine of up to 500,000 won. Unmuzzled dogs could result in a fine of up to 3 million won. In addition, fences around areas where dogs are kept should be high enough so that both dogs and people are protected. Pet owners should remember that being careless with their dogs can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
There are many other ways to observe proper petiquette. Article 13 of the Animal Protection Law mentions not only rules related to safety, but also the rules related to collecting animal waste in public spaces. If a pet poops it should be collected immediately. If an animal urinates, it should be cleaned up in public spaces inside of buildings, and cleaned from public equipment that people lie down or sit on. Violations of these rules can result in a fine of up to 500,000 won. Pet owners can also participate in a yellow ribbon campaign. The pet owners can put a yellow ribbon on their pet to signify if their pet is aggressive, sensitive, or lacking in social skills.
People who are not pet owners should also be aware of petiquette. Often, people approach pets they don’t know on the street because they are cute. However, this can be frightening for pets. Caution is needed when approaching an unknown pet.
Recently, the Public Service Advertising Conference released public service advertisements related to petiquette. The two commercials, titled "Our Dog is Mild," are targeted towards two audiences: pet owners and non-pet owners. The advertisement for pet owners raises awareness regarding the use of leashes and muzzles. The advertisement for non-pet owners contains petiquette to be kept by non-pet owners. Public service advertisements are for public awareness so that citizens can be well-informed. The broadcast of these public advertisements related to petiquette shows just how important it is for people to follow proper petiquette.
With the rising number of pet owners, pets are now more than ever becoming a part of society. Therefore, people need to be considerate of pets and others based on proper knowledge and understanding of pets. Keeping petiquette may be another way to show love for a pet. I hope everyone will live happily and safely by practicing petiquette in the future.
By Jo Soo-bin, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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