Shanghaiist is in a fury. No, not because of the freezing weather, but because of a recent thread in a pet website we frequent.
It seems that a sick, twisted Fudan University student adopted and tortured more than 20 kittens since September, according to an online bulletin board (in Chinese). The student, who went by the online monicker “YuhZLL,” had been trolling the animal section of the Fudan University BBS looking for kittens to adopt. YuhZLL — real name Zhang Liangliang — eventually, somehow, managed to adopt more than 20 kittens from university animal rescuers, mostly small kittens aged 3-4 months old. He later claimed that he freed these kittens from captivity (fang sheng or 放生 ).
Realizing that the same person had been adopting all of these kittens, students became suspicious. On November 29, three students from animal section visited Zhang’s dorm room and discovered an eight-month old white cat (pictured) — minus one eye — bleeding in a cage. They immediately suspected the worst for the other cats, which were nowhere to be found. Zhang threatened to report the students to school officials — having pets on campus is against the rules. Zhang said he would take the cat to the vet, but later, allegedly, dumped it somehwere.
Once the thread was released, Zhang was immediately condemned by furious cat lovers online. Major pet websites including petsky.com.cn, mypethome.chinapet.com and luckycats.com have at least 20 threads regarding this topic. At the beginning, Zhang tried to defend himself (thread in Chinese). But by December 1, Zhang was unable to handle all the critics and pressure from the internet, and he confessed at a “cartoon bar” — yes, just as it sounds, a cartoon-themed bar — to an audience that included several of his classmates, his girlfriend and his mother that he set these domesticated cats “free,” only after torturing them, of course. Here are some quotes from his words:
“Pipi is the only kitten that I treated in a normal way. I beat him very hard, too. I beat him until he has the last gasp. I wasn’t sure how long he will survive when I dumped him in the grass, he was incontinent already.”
If all of this isn’t repulsive enough, it seems like Zhang will get away unpunished. There are no animal cruelty laws in China and Fudan University appears more interested in saving face than dealing with an obviously severely disturbed young man — school officials have deleted all threads regarding Zhang from the Fudan BBS and Zhang’s university tutor suggested he simply spend more time on his studies. Fudan is also sweeping the dorms for cats, no doubt dumping any they find back on the streets.
Shanghaiist is a cat lover and the thought of physical abuse to cats is just unbearable. Hopefully this story gets proper play in the mainstream media, and Zhang can be properly punished. We have learned Sina.com, Shanghai Morning Post, Phoenix TV and Shenzhen News have reported on this. Maybe all this attention can finally lead this country to adopting some kind of law forbidding animal cruelty.