A Korean man has been reported to the police for animal abuse after driving his cat around town on the hood of his Mercedes Benz vehicle.
Residents spotted the vehicle in a well-traveled, seven-lane street in front of an apartment complex in Haeundae district of Busan, Korea. The cat, though connected to a leash, sat on top of the car’s hood — completely unprotected from the surrounding traffic.
When the vehicle started moving, the cat seemingly panicked and almost fell off the hood. Terrified for the cat, other drivers began honking at the Mercedes to bring the cat back inside his vehicle. Meanwhile, multiple police reports got filed — in a collective effort to stop the Korean man from hurting the cat.
After witnesses submitted their videos as evidence, the Busan Metropolitan Police Agency claimed, “The case is now under investigation.” The Korean man has not yet been arrested, but the police assured, “Should there be suspicions of animal abuse, the owner will be charged for it.”
When Korean press reported on the incident, the Korean man in question allegedly reached out to Chosun Ilbo and tried to clear his name. He stated:
I don’t know who reported me for animal abuse, but I treasure my cat. I don’t ever abuse it…I leave it on the hood of my car and drive at an extremely slow pace. That’s how the cat gets exercise. I think people misunderstood.
— Vehicle Owner
Expectedly, his explanation is not sitting well with the public.
- “This is blatantly animal abuse though. Why are we listening to his excuses?”
- “I think Korea needs to look into the way Germany handles animal protection laws. We need a better way to punish people like him. And those who abandon pets.”
- “My f*cking goodness.”
- “Hop on the hood of my car, I’ll take you out for a round of exercise too.”
- “So it actually sounds like this isn’t the first time he has done that… which is continuous abuse. He’s going to have to face multiple charges then. Right?”
On February 12, 2021, the Korean parliament did pass some amendments to the existing animal-related bill — such as increasing the maximum sentence to three years and the fine to ₩30,000,000 KRW ($27,165 USD). Though this is some progress, Koreans continue to push the government for stronger animal protection laws to stop the surge of abuse cases across the nation.