On June 2nd, Beijing Municipal Police Department released a public announcement about activating an order to capture any large or aggressive dogs found in the city beginning on June 13th. In the name of public order and safety, the order states that the police will “retain” all large dogs in the municipal area of Beijing, as well as some of the suburban areas. The order gave 10 days for dog owners to relocate the dogs to outside of the city. Any large dogs found in Beijing after June 13th will be “retained”. Owners of these dogs will then be fined almost 1,600USD (10,000RMB) if they are a business, and individuals will be fined almost 800USD (5,000RMB). The order is targeting not only all of the stray dogs and unregistered pet dogs but also legally registered dogs. Dogs are now being captured almost around the clock. These “captures” are not only taking place on the street. Police are also traveling to “suspects” residences to confiscate their dogs. According to the announcement, all resistance to the enforcement of this order will be severely punished.
In the public announcement, the Beijing Police department encourages the general population to report anyone they know that owns a large-sized dog. People who turn in such dog owners will be rewarded with cash, and their identity will be protected. Anonymous hotlines to the police station of all communities in the city of Beijing are listed on the announcement. Now, dog owners not only have to watch for the police, but they must also fear their neighbors, co-workers, or anyone else who might have knowledge of their dog. According to reliable inside information, the police officers have also been given incentives to capture at least 10 dogs per officer. Each officer who meets this quota will receive a cash reward.
Large dogs are classified as those that are over 35 cm in height (13.7 inches). All dogs that exceed this size restriction are subject to the order. The top three most popular dogs according to AKC registration – Labrador, German Shepherd and Golden Retriever are all targeted and in danger of being taken. According to the public statement, the order has equated a dog over 35 cm in height as a dangerously aggressive dog that presents a serious danger to public health and safety.
In reality, all dogs on the walking on the street, with or without their owners, are targeted for a possible capture. The following are the list of dogs that are subjects to be captured and retained:
- All stray dogs
- All large sized dogs (exceeding the limits of 35cm in height) with or without registration
- Small dogs without registration
- All small dogs if their owners failed to show proof of registration on the spot
The following is a screenshot of a Weibo account (Chinese Twitter) of one subdivision of the Beijing Police Department. It is a short announcement about the capture order along with a propaganda picture with that caption that loosely translates to “these dogs (meaning large/aggressive dogs) must either be tolerated or terminated”. The picture shows a snarly dog and is meant to show people that such animals cannot be lived with and must be captured and terminated for everyone’s safety.
Any dogs (either strays or pets) that are captured will not be returned to their owners and no adoption or retrieval of any sort will be allowed. Theoretically, the small sized dogs are allowed to be reclaimed by their owner if the owners register their dogs or show the proof of an existing registration. In reality, however, the chances for these small sized dogs to be returned to their families are low. The police department is also not allowing owners to register new large sized dogs or renew existing registrations. As any dogs that are seen and captured by the Beijing police will not be returned to their families, you may be wondering what will happen to them. The answer is, no one knows. No government office has released any information or responded to any questions in regards to what they will do to these dogs.
The severity and cruelty of this order has caught most Beijing residents completely off guard, and no one yet knows what motives could have precipitate it. The order and the actions taken in its name, however, have obviously outraged the many dog owners and dog lovers in China. News of it has gone viral on Weibo and created a massive online protest against the Beijing Police Department and this vile dog capture order.
Most of the posts, however, failed to stay online for more than a few moments as the Beijing Police Department has been flexing its censorship muscle and deleted any posts that speak out against the order or detail any of the many real tragedies that have befallen families and their dogs.
How many dogs have been taken? Where are they being kept? What is being done to them? Why are there no recourses for victims of this heinous order? No Chinese media outlets have reported anything but about what the Beijing Police needs to do to “ensure the safety” of Beijing residents. People’s voices have been brutally silenced, and no one can tell the world what has happened to them or the dogs that are both their dearest friends and families.
We have been able to get a couple of real stories about what happened to a few individuals/families as a result of this inhumane and disgraceful government ordered action. What you are going to read next will greatly outrage you and make you feel extreme blessed that you and your dogs are not residents of Beijing, the capital city of China. All stories have been confirmed as true by activists groups in Beijing.
10pm, June 12th 2013 – Never Diaoyu Tai, Haidian District, Beijing
Three security men and two police officers stopped a young girl as she was walking a Golden Retriever on a side street. After finding out the dog was not registered, the men in uniform beat the dog to death with sticks. The young girl was restrained throughout the beating and was utterly powerless to stop the five men from killing her dog. She could only cry out and watched as her loving dog was forced to endure a horrific, violent death. As this event transpired, a pedestrian took both pictures and videos. The police saw him and then forced him to delete both the pictures and video. The police then threatened to take him into custody if he did not comply. The pedestrian had no choice but to delete all the evidence. Later, this same person received a phone call from the Beijing Haidian Police Department and was told that the people who beat the dog to death were not actual police officers, in spite of the fact that they all had uniforms, badge numbers, and drove a municipal police vehicle.
The news still has gone viral on Weibo in the matter of few hours after the incident took place, and created a huge protest and out cry online. A few days later, the owner of the killed Golden Retriever was taken to the police station and forced to give a statement to “clarify” that the Beijng Police did not kill her dog.
June 11th 2013 – 28 Fa Tou Xi Li, Chaoyang District, Beijing
In a building in the Chaoyang District, there was a dog had just given birth to four puppies. The mother dog is a very gentle stray, and most of the residents in the building had been taking care of her and her new born puppies. One day after the announcement of the capture order and reward had been released, someone reported the dog and her puppies to the police. The police arrived and took all of the dogs. All of the puppies were later killed, and the mother dog is still alive in the Chaoyang District pound. Right now, some local volunteers are still trying to get her out before she is also killed.
These are only two of many tragedies that come about and will continue to happen in Beijing.
In China, mass resistance to government orders does not turn out well. People have great reason to fear “lawful punishment”. There is depressingly very little people in China can do to stop any of this. All phone calls to government officials and petitions have been ignored, no media outlets are willing to speak out for the dogs or their owners because they have been ordered not to. Social media activities have been monitored and censored. Despite the hopeless of the situation, activists and volunteers haven’t stop trying to do what they can to save as many dogs as possible. Many shelters and individuals have opened their doors for the fury “refugees” from Beijing. One of our allied activists has rented a temporary shelter where people can keep their dogs until this madness passes.
00am June 9th 2013
A Beijing Volunteer, currently pregnant, went to the pound located in Qi Li Qu in Beijing and got down on her knees to beg government officials to let the captured dogs live. It is difficult to imagine just how desperate and hopeless that she must have felt when she realized there was nothing else she could do but bow down and beg to those who were sworn to “protect and serve”. 9pm, June 12th 2013
Beijing Volunteers went to a factory in an effort to rescue dogs that were being kept by a factory owner. The factory owner had raised these dogs for meat and previously killed two others. In the past, volunteers were able to rescue 8 dogs from the factory. After that time, dog rescuing volunteers have never been welcome at the factory. When the dog capture order was put into place, the factory owner chose to hand the dogs over to the police officer to be killed than to volunteers. At 11am, the police came and nearly took all the dogs from the factory despite how the begging and outcry of the volunteers that had come to rescue them. Luckily, after her unremitting tears, one of the volunteers was able to persuade the police officers to give two of the dogs to her. Unfortunately, there was still one more dog left at the factory – Da Huang. The factory owner is still refusing to let the volunteers save dog, as he claims that he would rather kill the dog than let him go with the volunteers. The police said they would be coming back for Da Huang the next morning. The volunteers thus felt there was no any other way to save the dog but taking a controversial route – stealing Da Huang. At midnight, a few volunteers were able to get the dog out of factory, away from the factory owner and the Beijing police.
The dog, Da Huang, is temporary safe now after being rescued by the volunteers from his previous dog killer owner and the “law enforcers”, the Beijing police. What will happen to him after this? Will he be safe even after this order fades away? We cannot know for sure what will happen to Da Huang, just like we cannot know what will happen to all the animal residents in China. They will be never be truly safe in a nation where such government authorized activities can take place. What wrong could these dogs have done to deserve such violent reactions by a government that has worked so tirelessly to create the “harmonious state” of China? We sadly do know, however, the most utterly desperate situations faced daily by volunteers who are often left with no other option but to become criminals themselves just to preserve lives that should never have been in danger to begin with. Any Chinese person with a kind heart or open mind is tragically forced to live in a country where animal cruelty laws don’t exist and where even their basic human rights can be tossed aside in order to kill their best friends and families. At this point, we have run out of words to describe the injustice and disgrace that this city, the capital city, has done to its loyal dog residents.
One Weibo user made the following response to the Beijing dog capture order:
Mighty China, a nation that gives a home to out-of-check corruption, injustice, and the utter disregard for human life and rights; but can find no safe home for its dogs.
What you can do to help?
1. Please sign and share this petition:http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-unjust-and-inhumane-crackdown-on-large-dogs-in-beijing
2. Any big dogs if captured by the police will be terminated, inhumanely. Chinese activists have been trying to rescue some big dogs in Beijing but fear for their future. Please help us save as many lives as possible by giving them a forever home in a safe place. Please let us know if you are willing to save endangered big dogs in China by adopting one! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
3. Join this online protest to raise awareness and support our friends in Beijing:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=547081805354742&set=pb.499878786741711.-2207520000.1371363858.&type=3&theater
4. “No to the Crackdown on Large Dogs” campaign t-shirt banned in China.
Don’t let their voices be silenced! We have made a new series of campaign t-shirt that you can own to show your stand! Please get a campaign T-shirt and say NO to the crackdown on large dogs in China. Please let all of the dog lovers and activists in China know that they are not alone! You can get order a T-Shirt from here:
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An article about over-sized dogs in China:-