An employee of a stray dog shelter in Hangzhou who caused outrage by brutally killing seven puppies on Monday has been sacked, local media reported.
Pictures showing a middle-aged man lifting a newborn puppy into the air before throwing it on to the ground have gone viral on China’s most popular social media site, Sina Weibo, since yesterday morning.
The images attracted hundreds of comments within hours and got reposted by many major mainland news portals.
“An urban management officer sent a female dog and her newborns to a stray dog shelter … but a member of staff threw the puppies to their death one by one in front of the mother! They were too small to open their eyes,” the local microblogger who posted the pictures wrote in the caption.
The shelter, in Hangzhou’s northern suburbs, confirmed to local newspaper Qianjiang Evening News yesterday the man shown in the pictures was a member of staff. The employee, aged in his 50s and whose surname was Feng, had already been sacked, other staff members were quoted by the paper as saying.
The urban management officer who took the dog and her puppies to the shelter told the paper he found them at a street market in the city’s southwestern suburb, after the local authority called for help.
According to the officer, whose surname was Xu, the owner said the dog often bit strangers and became more aggressive after giving birth to seven puppies. “He said he didn’t have the heart to kill the dogs and asked me to take care of them,” Xu was quoted as saying.
“The member of staff [Feng ] failed to follow the due procedure and threw the dogs to death for his convenience,” he added.
The city’s directives on pet dog control requires that all abandoned dogs should be “controlled” by the relevant government departments. But the regulation does not list detailed control measures.
Microbloggers hit out at the cruelty to the puppies.
“If the mother dog should be killed for hurting a man, what should we do to the man that has killed seven puppies?” wrote one microblogger.
“It’s not a stray dog shelter, but a slaughter house!” another wrote.
An animal welfare association based in Hangzhou said many stray dogs were treated cruelly when they were sent to be “controlled” by the relevant government departments.
It said: “The city administration and law enforcement bureau should make public how you “control” the stray dogs … by ‘control’ do you mean all stray dogs should be killed?”
The remains of the puppies were being kept in mortuary freezers and would be cremated, the paper said. The puppies’ mother, locked in a cage at the shelter, will be put down.