Authorities issue embarrassing retraction after claiming 70 dogs on loose in South Korean town

An official admitted that they were being ‘cautious’ when they issued the initial alert. Three dogs had instead wandered off a farm

Tom Watling
Wednesday 08 May 2024 13:14 BST
Authorities originally thought 70 dogs were on the loose but there weren’t
Authorities originally thought 70 dogs were on the loose but there weren’t (Getty Images)

An emergency text message warning that 70 ferocious dogs were on the loose in South Korea has had to be quickly withdrawn after it turned out it related to three dogs that had wandered off a local farm.

An alert was issued on Wednesday morning from the Dong-gu district office in Daejeon, located roughly 100 miles south of Seoul, following a report from the civic emergency service.

They had passed on information given to them by a civilian caller, who reported they had seen “70 large dogs” roaming an area on the city’s outskirts.

But officials quickly realised that the alert had been false when a police officer stationed in the area reported that,

The officer confirmed that the “not very large” animals, none of which appeared to be aggressive, had been returned to the farm.

They were then forced to issue a second alert 20 minutes after the first to say that only three dogs had escaped from the farm, as opposed to “70 large dogs”, and that they had been returned to the farm.

An official from the district office, who spoke to Reuters but declined to be identified, said they were erring on the side of caution when they issued the initial warning.

They said that they took the civilian’s report at face value due to the pressing nature of the possible emergency.

“We were trying to get the word out for people to be cautious, since they said it was 70 large dogs,” the official said.

Hundreds of farms in South Korea keep dogs, but in this case the animals appeared to have been pets or working dogs.

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