February 28, 2013 09:42
For those with a few bucks to spare and in need of companionship, it has become a fad to rent dogs for a few hours, days or even weeks. The main customers of the rent-a-dog service are single office workers whose busy schedules keep them out of the house during the week.
"I can't really keep a dog because I'm out all day during the week, but with the service, I can have one that fits my schedule so I can take care of him when I have time," said a 26-year-old female office worker.
The service is also popular among foreigners, who often aren't sure how long they will remain in Korea.
"I rented a dog to keep as a pet while I'm in Korea. I feel less lonely when I have a dog," said one 29-year-old English teacher.
A three day rental costs W50,000 (US$1=W1,085), while a week goes for W70,000. Customers can also rent on an hourly basis for W10,000.
"We receive up to 10 phone calls a day asking about the service," one rental company said.
However, the business is not without critics.
Some fear that dogs -- naturally loyal animals -- will suffer if forced to change living environment every few days.
"We don't leave a child with a stranger for a few days and another stranger for another few days," said Jung Jin-a, a member of the Korean Animal Welfare
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