We’re sad to relay yet another case of horrific animal abuse today, and it’s one of the worst we’ve seen in a while. Beijing chengguan (China’s notoriously power-hungry urban law enforcement officials with a track record for violence) reportedly beat and killed a dog in front of his horrified foreign owner on Saturday morning. The reason? The Briton “did not have registration papers for his pet,” according to The New York Times.
“One-Eyed Jack” (named such as he was missing an eye) was first taken in by Trevor Metz, of renowned Beijing burger bar Plan B in Shuangjing, who took care of the dog for a few months before finding him another home.
In a correspondence with the The Nanfang, the dog owner (whose name has been witheld) describes what happened as he was taking the dog out for a walk over the weekend.
I’d taken the dog out early Saturday morning. I usually take him on a path in the compound where there’s some garden and space for him to do his business. I took him further this time because he hadn’t been out since the early evening on Friday. After about 10 minutes of walking, I spotted 3 guys by the roadside, who approached me and stopped me. Two of them were wearing Chengguan uniforms, and one was in plain clothes. One of them asked to see the dog’s registration photo ID card thing, and I told them I had only had him a very short time and that I was in the process of getting it. I offered to show them his vaccinations, and the info I’d gathered on registration.
He told me he was gonna get me in big trouble for not having the proper documents. I told him I was gonna walk on and there was nothing he could do while I was still getting my documents sorted. I started to walk forward, the dog growled at them and let out one bark. The guy pushed me back and one of the others grabbed the leash from me. They had some kind of baton with them and they whacked the dog over the head so hard he barely yelped, he just fell down. I protested and went to shield him but the other guy pushed me back while they beat the dog 3 more times. They bundled him into some black backpack, and got into an unmarked car (looked like one of the heiche cars, wasn’t an official chengguan car). They drove off and left me there.
I’m pretty sure at least two of them were a bit drunk. Not very much so, but they had the red-faced “I’ve had baijiu” faces. And as I say, one of them was in plain clothes, and the car was unmarked.
The dog owner said he’d tried to report the case to police, who said that nothing could be done as the dog wasn’t registered and therefore wasn’t legally anybody’s property.
“At this point I just felt utterly frustrated, defeated and helpless. I also was consumed with guilt and sorrow,” the dog owner said. “It makes me cry, it makes me feel sick. It’s disturbing my sleep and the feeling doesn’t go away easily.”
It’s not the first case of horrible and free violence on helpless pets at the hands of officials, according to New York Times reporter Andrew Jacobs, who said in a Twitter post that he’d seen a similar case as this one reported before.
@austinramzy The same thing happened last year but we did not report the details because police threatened the owner it became public
— Andrew Jacobs (@AndrewJacobsNYT) May 26, 2014
Earlier this month, police in Sichuan province were accused of brutally bludgeoning to death a homeless man’s dog in public after they’d received a tip that it had rabies.
It’s one thing to read about people killing animals for fur and meat or purely because of some underlying psychological issues. What’s more scary is that these guys can use violence to enforce regulations…
Rest in peace, Jack.
By Aliaume Leroy
Edit: Article has been altered slightly to clarify that Metz was only the temporary caretaker of Jack. The dog owner wished to remain unidentified.
[Image via The Nanfang]