Lotte Mart Shouts at Guide Dog

Hajon Lee

Last Sunday, on the 29th, an employee who appeared to be a manager at Lotte Mart’s Jamsil branch in Seoul blocked the entrance of a guide dog with a sign of a disabled dog and shouted at the volunteer. A post from an eye witness has made the issue go viral. The photo released by the netizen along with the article showed a prospective guide dog crouching at people with its tail down. Other netizens who saw the sightings were angry at Lotte Mart’s Jamsil branch’s inappropriate response, saying the prospective guide dog looked scared.

The mart staff screamed at the puppy walker, “Why do you bring a guide dog in when you are not disabled?” The released photo shows a poor guide dog who seems to be scared. A puppy walker is a volunteer who takes care of a dog that will become a guide dog for the blind or deaf for seven weeks to a year. Under the Disabled Welfare Act, a fine of up to 3,000,000 won will be imposed on anyone who blocks guide dog trainers and volunteers accompanied by guide dogs with signs for disabled dogs from entering public places without justifiable reasons.

As the controversy spread, Lotte Mart’s Instagram account was bombarded with complaints on Thursday morning. In response, Lotte Mart wrote an official apology letter stating, “We promise to clarify the guidelines for guide dogs and Puppy Walker and their perception at the site, and actively cope with the same case through emergency sharing.” The insincere apology sparked another outrage leading to online communities trying to boycott Lotte Group. Some Internet users cut Lottecard in half and said, “I don’t buy it. She posted a poster of “NO+LOTTE” on social media as Lotte is a Japanese company. Poppy is the eye and companion of a blind person, these laws in place should be kept and more people should be aware of such dogs.

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