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Frequently Asked Questions

Pedigree dogs are suitable pets, but mixed breeds are used as food

Generally, owners treat pedigree dogs well. They are fed properly and given love. However, many people who own mixed breed dogs abuse them and/or keep them tied up, and their sole purpose is to protect their owner's property. They forget that all dogs, pedigree or mixed, have descended from wolves. There is a great tendency for prejudice against mixed breed dogs because Koreans only want what is perfect and pure. It is this same train of thought which prevents Koreans from wishing to adopt children. They don't want a child that is not of their own blood, Instead, many Korean orphans find homes overseas. This myth is, of course, only acknowledged when convenient because KAPS has documented numerous pedigrees in the markets that are abviously abandoned or stolen pets. In addition, most of the dogs in the markets look disturbingly similar to the chindogae, designated national treasure #53, according to the Korean Embassy's website.

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Small dogs are smarter than large dogs

We don't know how this myth got started, but it is clear that smaller toy breeds are significantly more popular than large dogs. Dogs such as those used in guide dog service, search and rescue, and law enforcement should disprove this myth. However, service dogs are still unique in Korea. By law, guide dogs are guaranteed access to public transport with their owners. In reality, guide dogs are often prevented from accompanying their owners onto the subway and buses. In contrast, small dogs are seen everywhere. Our only conclusion can be that there is a prejudice against larger dogs because they are favored as food.

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Transporting dogs in motor vehicles is bad luck

Again, it depends on the type of dog you wish to transport. Access for small breeds is never questioned. However,larger breeds, especially large yellowish dogs are discouraged because Koreans consider these kinds of dogs most desireable for eating.

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Raising a dog for more than seven years turns it into a wolf

This is widely believed to be true. Please read a true story told to Sunnan Kum by her ailing neighbor about a "friend" who killed and ate the dog he was raising as a pet.

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Eating dog meat increases a man's sexual virility

There may be some truth to this statement if you consider that it is common for dog meat dealers and herbal medicine practitioners to inject steroids, testosterone or other hormones into the soups and tonics. Korean atheletes in the 1992 Olympics were disqualified when they tested positive for steroids after eating a meal of dog meat and taking "health tonics" that contain dog. Sexual virility is an obsession for many Korean men and most health tonics usually list "male stamina" or "male potency" as one of the primary benefits. A full page ad taken from the 13 July 1997 issue of the Chosun Ilbo daily newspaper lists several fabricated health claims about dog meat. The Chosun Ilbo is Korea's third largest newspaper.

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Cats are evil spread disease and attack people

An ounce of common sense would dispel this myth, but it again proves how willing Koreans are to propagate misinformation based on rumors. These kinds of myths foster undue hatred in people and validate cruel methods of killing and torture. If we accept this myth, we must conclude that Korea has a monopoly on unruly, diseased felines, since in many other countries, cats are quite affectionate and clean. While some people may not like cats, it is usually based on personal preference rather than ignorance and fear, as is common in Korea.

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Drinking goyangi soju, a tonic made from liquified cats, cures a variety of ailments including rheumatism and neuralgia

Cats are not usually eaten, but are instead boiled down in large pressure cookers along with herbs to create a thick tonic. Patients are encouraged to drink this tonic over several weeks to receive optimum benefits. Cats are also sold to those who prefer to brew the elixir themselves at home. Many myths are passed down through family and community, and these word-of-mouth truths prove far more influential than any amount of scientific evidence.

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