Already facing immense pressure from his dating scandal with SONAMOO member Nahyun, K-pop solo artist Kim Yongguk is in the centre of yet another controversy after being accused by fans and animal lovers for abandoning his pet cat, Lucy.
The former JBJ member is the owner of three cats named Tolby, Lucy and Kagu. His affection for his cats is well known, with his official logo and various merchandise carrying motifs that resemble a cat.
However, when fans found photos of a cat that bore a striking resemblance to Lucy being posted on an animal shelter's Instagram page in September, they started raising questions to the artist's management team.
Comparing the official photo of Lucy from his company, Choon Entertainment, and the shelter photos, it was obvious to fans that the cat belonged to him.
According to Koreaboo.com, the shelter assumed Lucy was a stray and put the cat through the spaying process only to find out it had already gone through the procedure. As a result they clipped its ear and campaigned to find the cat's owner.
It was only then that a fan managed to contact a representative of Choon Entertainment, and the company brought the cat back.
Meanwhile, Kim posted a photo of Lucy on his Twitter page in October as if nothing had happened, but with the cat's ears cropped out of the photo. Netizens posited that it was done on purpose to obscure the fact that Lucy's ear had been clipped at the shelter.
With the revelation of animal neglect coming to light, many fans were disgusted at how Kim acted after abandoning his cat. Some even pointed out that he had thrown out Lucy, who is a rescue, in favour of his new cat Kagu, who is a purebred.
Since then, the company has come out to clarify that Lucy is now under the care of Kim, he has since admitted that he had put up the cat for adoption as Kagu and Lucy could not get along.
As more fans continue to be angered by his irresponsibility, a netizen also stepped in to explain that Lucy is not currently under the care of Kim, but in the home of an employee of Choon Entertainment. The cat has also been given a new name, Aljjang.
The backlash continued to spread and Kim has since written a letter of apology to his fans admitting his wrongdoings.
According to Koreaboo.com, he wrote in the apology: "It is true that I put Lucy up for adoption and then brought her back. I still regret my actions at the time and am reflecting on it. I am very sorry to Lucy, who had to go through pain that was not necessary, and I am simply full of regret. I am sorry for worrying many with my lack of awareness and actions in regard to pets. I will not forget my wrongdoings and learn from them."