South Korean prosecutors summon impeached president for questioning

An election will be held in May to choose a successor to ousted South Korean leader Park Geun-hye, who has caused anger by leaving her nine dogs in the presidential palace.

Now, animal rights groups are accusing Park of animal abandonment.

But Kim Ae Ra, who heads the Korea Alliance for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the group filed a complaint on Monday with South Korea's Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission over the dogs.

"Being left behind is frightening, confusing, and risky for dogs and other animals who depend on their human guardians for food, water, shelter, veterinary care, and all their other needs", said PETA Asia Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker in a statement.

CARE, a Seoul-based animal rights group, offered to look after the nine Jindo dogs - a Korean breed known for loyalty and devotion - and find them new families, blasting Park for not being responsible.

Her lawyers said in a statement they would cooperate.

The two dogs had seven puppies earlier this year.

"She [Park] told Blue House staff to take good care of the dogs and to find good foster homes for the puppies if necessary", the spokesman added.

Hwang had been seen as the best hope of challenging the domination of liberal frontrunner Moon Jae-in based on popularity surveys, as conservative politics has taken a beating over its association with scandal-hit former President Park Geun-hye. The country's animal protection law defines lost or abandoned animals as those "wandering without an owner in public places" or "left deserted in paper boxes or other containers".

Animal abandonment is punishable by a fine of up to 1m won (£715).

On social media, people have been reacting to Park's decision to leave the dogs.

Ousted President Park Geun-hye gets out of a auto appearing misty-eyed in front of her private residence in southern Seoul after returning from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on March 12, 2017, two days after she was removed from office at her impeachment trial at the Constitutional Court. They found she had worked with a close friend to pressure large Korean businesses to donate huge amounts of money to two organizations.

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  • Arturo Norris