Hangzhou is now hell for dogs | Society News | SupChina

Hangzhou is now hell for dogs

Police in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, have embarked on a gruesome killing spree of dogs this week, after implementing a series of strict policies on pet ownership. The citywide campaign of violence towards dogs has sparked social media outrage, and a boycott hashtag campaign on Weibo with a lot of traction.

The online protest began after a horrific video clip surfaced on the internet in which a white dog can be seen struggling under water while trapped in an animal capture net. Although the video did not expose the perpetrator, Weibo user Huòbǐtè xiǎo féijī 霍比特小肥基 (Huobite hereafter), who shared the clip (in Chinese), said that the dog was drowned on November 9 by a group of urban management officers, also known as chéngguǎn 城管. They apparently mistook the dog for a street dog as it was wandering freely, without a leash.

“All of my neighbors know that it’s my pet. They killed it without asking around if it belonged to someone,” the dog owner told Huobite, who was asked to delete the video because the video owner feared “getting into trouble with local officers.”

Today, Huobite posted another short video (in Chinese) that shows a Corgi being caught in a net. “I don’t know what happened to this puppy after the chengguan captured it,” the Weibo user wrote. “Even though the city wants to impose more restrictions on pet-keeping, they should target owners instead of dogs.”

In another video that has been widely circulated on the Chinese internet, a defenceless stray dog can be seen being repeatedly beaten to death by a man in Hangzhou. To curb the widespread speculation that the assailant was a police officer, the municipal government told (in Chinese) Qiangjiang Daily, a local newspaper, that the dog was killed by a citizen who claimed that the dog had bitten multiple people before.

In light of a violent dog dispute earlier this month in Hangzhou, where a woman was assaulted by a dog owner for scaring his unleashed pet away from her children, the urban management committee of Hangzhou this week launched a campaign to clamp down on pets. Under the new regulations, dog owners will be fined up to 1,000 yuan ($144) if they don’t keep their pets on a leash. Local authorities have the right to take unlicensed dogs away from their owners. In addition, dog-walking is only allowed between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Many people initially applauded the rules as a responsible move to encourage dog etiquette. But after several appalling videos on social media, a number of animal lovers have started questioning the radical approach taken by the local government.

On Weibo, a hashtag campaign, #万人请辞抗议杭州打狗# (wànrén qǐngcí kàngyì hángzhōu dǎ gǒu — ten thousand people protest against Hangzhou’s beating of dogs), is quickly gathering steam. As of the time of this writing, the hashtag has gotten more than 3 million views, with many internet users condemning the Hangzhou government’s cruelty towards dogs. “I will never visit Hangzhou again. From now on, it should stop branding itself as ‘Paradise on Earth’ because it’s more like hell!” one furious Weibo user wrote (in Chinese).

China has a fraught history with dogs. But the conflict between animal lovers and dog haters has intensified rapidly this year due to a handful of violent incidents involving dogs. A future where Chinese people and dogs can coexist peacefully seems distant right now.

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Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.

7 Comments

  1. Sharon Black Reply

    I am absolutely fuming at the moment with the abuse of dogs. As a dog lover I cannot believe what I am seeing. I am urging everyone never visit your country as you are inhumane. I am contacting news channels globally. You must have respect for these beautiful dogs who just want love and give so much love back. What’s wrong with you people. Why so aggressive to beautiful defensless animals

  2. philip Jackson Reply

    People need to contact companies in their countries and ask them to change where the products are made, or start petitions to send to companies, so many things are made in china we are feeding their economy, they are strengthening their military might and have ZERO compassion for animals, another reason to stop imports from china.

  3. Mi Duong Reply

    Is that made of DOG AND CATS MEET?! You animals make me sick! You are monsters, heartless COMMUNIST MONSTERS! STOP YOUR NEW LAW BANNING DOGS AND KILLING THEM EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE OWNERS WHO LOVE THEM and BEATING THEM AND DROWNING THEM TO DEATH! It’s bad enough that you’re people TORTURE, BEAT & EAT dogs and cats, NOW THE GOVERNMENT IS ALSO KILLING THEM! You will never get rid of rabies as long as your people still eating dogs! I curse you all to die from all the dogs and cats you eat and I curse you all that’s beating & drowning them to the same death! FUCK YOU CHINA! GO TO HELL! 😡

  4. Haeffele Reply

    La façon dont vous traitez les chiens fait des chinois un peuple de barbares , et n’oubliez pas … LE MONDE VOUS REGARDE

  5. Maite Reply

    Let s boycott Hangzhou! Enough of violence towards those poor dogs! At the end of the day how can a country who does not even respect its own people can respect animals?…

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