China Uncensored: Dog Beaten to Death Before Owner’s Eyes

June 24, 2014 Updated: August 3, 2014

If you’re ever in China, you might want to keep an eye out for anyone with a uniform from the chengguan. 

Chengguan” roughly means “urban management.” They aren’t police, technically speaking. Their official job is regulating street vendors. But they’ve earned a reputation for brutality and have been known to beat people to death. Since they have been known to treat people like animals, you can just imagine how they treat actual animals.

With that little bit of background information, read on if you dare. 

The cute little feller in the photo is One-Eyed Jack. An English national who works at an international school in Beijing that took him in. 

Heart warming, really. Until it became blood boiling. According to an interview in, the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, took little old One-Eyed Jack for a Saturday morning walk, when three men stopped him. Two were dressed in chengguan uniforms, the other was in plainclothes.

Now remember, I’ve warned you about the chengguan. Last chance to pull out.

Sticking around? Okay, then. They asked to see the dog’s registration, but since he had just gotten the dog, he didn’t have it yet. But, he said, the dog was already vaccinated, on a leash, and the registration process was already underway.

Well, the chengguan, who seemed a bit drunk according to the owner, were getting a bit surly. And by “surly,” I mean they knocked the guy back, grabbed the leash from him, and beat the dog on the head with their batons. Four times—while one held the guy down so he got to see the whole thing. That was the end of One-Eyed Jack. The chengguan scooped him up in a black bag and drove off in an unmarked car. 

Now obviously, One-Eyed Jack’s owner was a bit distraught, and it didn’t help that, when he went to the police, they told him, since the dog didn’t have registration papers, that they couldn’t do anything.

China has some pretty strict rules when it comes to dogs. They need to be re-registered every year, for about $160 the first time and $80 each year after. If you don’t, they can be confiscated. Like, the Public Security Bureau, aka the police, have actually been known to go into residential compounds, at night, knock on your door and check. And if old Fido doesn’t have a registration, off he goes. 

That’s also why you need to always carry it with you when you walk your dog, or else it can be confiscated. If that happens, you’ll also face an $800 fine. 

Big dogs also have it hard. In Beijing’s urban districts, you’re not allowed to have a dog taller than 14 inches at the shoulder. There are also 40 different breeds that are banned because they’re “large and vicious,” like Dalmatians, golden retrievers, boxers, and collies. Sorry Lassie. Timmy’s just going to have to stay in that well. 

And remember, you have people from the Public Security Bureau going to your apartment to check. And what happens if your large dog is taken? Well, you can’t get it back. In fact, some animal rights advocates say those dogs end up going to dog meat traders, maybe even to the Yulin Dog Meat Festival held every June.

And by no means was One-Eyed Jack the only dog to suffer this fate. In 2013, a woman claimed that police had kicked a golden retriever to death while the owner looked on. Of course, after police detained this woman for a while, she eventually admitted to making the whole thing up. Her “confession” was met with a bit of skepticism. 

Of course I don’t want to give the impression that cruelty to animals is the norm in China. Remember, most of these pet owners losing their pets are Chinese citizens struggling to deal with the vague, constantly changing, or simply ignored rules of pet ownership in China. As for things like the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, there are many Chinese animal rights advocates calling for a stop to the festivals. 

But for now, I think it’s best if these chengguan learned a popular English saying: Every dog will have its day.

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Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.