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“Beijing, please don’t kill me.”

This poster, drawn by Weibo user @喵多多宠物手绘店, went viral for a sad reason, the Beijing police, once again, is on a mission to rid the city of “big and dangerous dogs”. Unfortunately, as backed by video evidence on Weibo, their target is 'any dog', regardless of size and temper, so long as their unguarded and unfortunate owners could not present their certificate on the spot when faced with the sudden raid.

The characters read: Beijing, please don't kill me. Photo: sino-us.com

Around seven o’clock on the morning of June 15, Weibo user @captain 0123 witnessed the Beijing police forcefully taking a dog from its white-haired owner and locked the dog, perfectly docile, in a cage at the back of the police truck together with two other dogs, both small and tame, quite contrary to the police’s announcement which clearly stated that only “big and dangerous dogs” were the target of the purge. The video could be watched here.

Sino-us.com talked to @captain0123, whose real name is Yu Peng (于鹏), at Beijing Adoption Day’s (@北京领养日) Adoption Fair in the afternoon. Yu Peng, who is one of the organizers and co-founders of the charity, told sino-us.com that he was hugely disappointed and outraged by the police’s action. “They didn’t have law enforcement recorder with them. They didn’t provide any type of document for the dogs they confiscated. And one of the men did not even wear his uniform. ” he said, “Most importantly, the dogs they have taken were all small and gentle dogs, not big and fierce ones! ”

Beijing police’s dog purge this year, which has grown ridiculously intense and sometimes violent, was said to have been prompted by a dog-killing incident on June 12 which was first exposed on Weibo and has since been deleted. The alleged atrocity happened near West Diaoyutai in Beijing’s Haidian District where three policemen was said to have beaten a Golden Retriever to death in front of its owner’s very eyes.

Details of the incident were no longer available since all the posts containing such information have been either deleted or blocked by Sina, operator of Weibo. Indignant Weibo users, mostly dog lovers and owners, have been verbally attacking the Beijing police on Weibo ever since the incident was made known. The hashtag 北京打狗 (the Beijing Dog Purge, literally Beijing Beats Dogs) has attracted over 10.3 million posts within three days and many are comparing the Beijing dog purge to the Yulin dog meat festival.

The Weibo users’ barely-containable outrage is mainly because of the tragical fate that would befall the dogs taken by the police: They will be gone. How? The police’s official answer is that the dogs will be euthanized. But many believe that the police actually sell the purebloods and kill the cross-breeds. Rumor has it the police would even sell the mutts to dog meat vendors.

This picture of the said incident, taken by Yu with his mobile, has been reposted thousands of times on Weibo. Photo: weibo.com

About the dogs in his video, Yu said, “If the owners do not turn up with the certificate for them, they are dead meat, for sure.” He was also enraged by the policeman’s attitude, “the uncle (the Chinese way to address an old man) was not a suspect; he was not a criminal; and he did nothing wrong except that he did not bring the dog’s certificate with him. But let’s face it, even people do not bring their ID cards with them every day! Who gave him (the policeman) the right to treat him so rudely?”

At the Adoption Fair, which carried on as planned despite the police purge, many people expressed their shared disbelief and anger. “Even President Xi Jinping has two pet dogs at home.” A young woman said to sino-us.com, “Would they took his dogs away too if he didn’t have their certificates with him?”


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