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Paju murder suspect's pets dodge euthanasia, find new homes

Jan. 10, 2023 - 13:14 By Lim Jae-seong
Four animals rescued from Lee Ki-young's home on Dec. 29 (KARMA)

Murder suspect Lee Ki-young’s four pets have all been adopted, avoiding the alternative of euthanasia.

All three cats and a dog left in Lee’s residence were sent to their new families, who had watched reports about the pets and applied for adoption, according to the Paju, Gyeonggi Province, city government and the Korea Animal Rescue and Management Association.

The pets were rescued from Lee’s home in Paju on Dec. 29, three days after Lee was apprehended on suspicion of murdering a taxi driver and hiding the body in his closet.

KARMA was able to rescue and protect the pets thanks to police who secured them from Lee, the legal owner of the pets, during the investigation.

But the animals had been at risk of being put down as unadopted animals are generally put to death 10 to 20 days after being placed on waiting lists in South Korea.

Lee had kept the pets since he was with his former live-in girlfriend, whom he also confessed to murdering in August.

It's unclear whether the animals had been abused, but a local media outlet broadcast video footage showing Lee laughing as he put a leashed Siamese cat into a pool.

Meanwhile, Korea Animal Rights Advocates on Monday called for the government to take action to protect pets left after crimes on a post on its Facebook page.

“As animals cannot express the abuse that they suffered in language, they are left in the cold without getting due protection even though they are found at the crime scene,” the animal rights advocacy group said.