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26 June
Wednesday

Asia

Seoul to develop insurance for stray dog

The city published 5-year helping plan

Photo: KARA

/NOVOSTIVL/ Starting late March, Seoul residents who adopt stray dogs from shelters can enroll in a city-subsidized insurance plan regardless of the dog's age, breed and medical history, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced, Tuesday. This article appeared in The Korea Times.

The insurance, provided by Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, will cover not only medical treatment and surgery ― limiting the pet owner's spending at the vet's to 30,000 won ($26) per visit ― but up to 5 million won in potential damage claims if the dog causes injury to other persons. The yearly insurance premium is set at 200,000 won for a 12-month-old dog, and the city government will cover the cost for the first year.

The special insurance scheme is part of Seoul City's five-year plan to lower the population of stray pets in the city and stimulate adoptions at animal shelters rather than purchases at pet shops.

"Seoul still has a long way to go with its stray pet problem. Around 8,200 pets are still abandoned every year and a quarter of them are euthanized," Na Baek-ju, head of the Citizens' Health Bureau at the city government, said in a press briefing, Tuesday. "If we neglect abandoned pets, they could pose a danger by becoming wild or triggering diseases due to unsanitary conditions ― the reason why we need an active adoption policy."

One out of five households in Seoul raises pets, and the total pet population in the city is now around 1 million, according to city government data.

The city plans to increase the number of adoption centers to 10 by 2023 as there are only two city-affiliated centers in Seoul, one in Gangdong-gu and the other in Seocho-gu. To ease overcrowding at these shelters, the city will also coordinate temporary foster homes for healthy stray dogs with help from citizen volunteers.

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