Killing of Healthy Pet Dog Under Zero-Covid Policy Evokes Public Anger

By Li Jing
Li Jing
Li Jing
November 16, 2021 Updated: November 16, 2021

A Chinese online video revealed how local epidemic prevention workers brutally beat a pet dog to death during the disinfection of a quarantined resident’s home. Following the release of the video online, condemnations flooded in over the brutality of the local administration.

Ms. Fu, the owner of a corgi, saw her dog had been beaten to death on a security recording on the afternoon of Nov. 12, when the local officials arranged for her to be isolated in a hotel in the early morning that day.

The disinfecting staff promised her that as long as the dog was secured, they would only disinfect the home, and would not remove or dispose of the dog.

Watching her cell phone, she saw two people in hazmat suits in her home, and one of them was hitting the dog on the head with an iron rod. The dog ran to another room, but the person went after it. The footage did not show what happened next, but the faint screaming of the corgi could be heard.

A few minutes later, the person, carrying a yellow plastic bag, spoke to the owner through her security camera, “The leader demanded that we settle it [the dog] here on the spot, and remove it after it’s done.” Fu asked for the name of the leader, but did not receive a reply.

Fu exposed the incident online, which caused a wide outcry on Chinese social media.

Local officials in Xinzhou District, Shangrao City, Jiangxi, issued a notice on Nov. 13 admitting that the staff indeed “broke into the home,” and “conducted a safe disposition of the pet dog.”

The official notice also mentioned that the relevant staff were transferred to a different post, were told to “apologize” to the owner, and that the pet owner expressed her “understanding.”

However, according to Chinese media reports, Fu has been under pressure since posting the video online, and the officials never explained anything to her about the incident.

She sought help from other netizens with her postings on Weibo: “The threats are coming.” “If the video stays, the job will be gone tomorrow.” “The work place says: if no deletion of the post, then just pack and leave.” “My parents could not take it anymore.” “What can I do when there’s no way to deal with the government?”

A stranger called Fu and asked her to delete all posts regarding the dog beating incident. He showed strong support for the epidemic prevention policy, and indicated his full awareness of Fu’s personal postings.

Fu subsequently set up a privacy permission on her Weibo account and the posts on the killing of the pet dog were “missing.”

The Xinzhou District is currently carrying out the stringent measures of the zero-COVID policy, with strict traffic control in urban streets.

Pets Killed in the Name of Epidemic Prevention

Online search of relevant stories in China revealed more horrifying incidents of pets being killed in the name of COVID-19 prevention.

For instance, in Fu’s neighborhood, another netizen also experienced a similar situation recently.

Epoch Times Photo
A man holds a dog on September 11, 2021 in Shanghai, China. (Hu Chengwei/Getty Images)

On Feb. 10, Chinese media reported that in a community in Xi’an City, Shaanxi, the epidemic prevention staff beat a pet dog to death because the owner walked the dog outside during the pandemic. It was said that dog walking is prohibited as a pandemic control measure.

In reaction to the heated anger of the public, the Xinzhou District officials claimed that the dog beating was an isolated case, an inevitable incident of unusual and necessary measures during an unusual time. Xinzhou District officials believed that “Society should acknowledge it.”

However, heated debate continued in Chinese social media. Lawyer Wang Xiaoming stated on Weibo that the killing of the pet lacked factual basis and violated the law.

Chinese writer Shui Muding wrote on Weibo: “For a local government that doesn’t cherish their own people, it’s bound to fail.”

Li Jing