Chinese authorities have launched an investigation into a videoed attack on a man suspected of abusing his adopted cats to death and sharing the act on social media.
The incident occurred on Feb. 25 when a group of six individuals surrounded the alleged animal abuser, only identified by his surname Lee, at a commercial plaza after being tipped off by an overseas individual.
After hurling insults at the man, the group reportedly took him to a different location, where they kicked him, made him slap himself in the face and then forced him to confess to the act. They also allegedly smeared feces on his face and forced him to ingest it.
While the group did not specify the origin of the feces, a Weibo user claimed that it was human waste.
A video of the violent act was shared and widely circulated on Chinese social media. Lee reportedly admits to killing five cats in the video.
Warning: The video below contains graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised.
Lee, who works at an office in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, was reportedly identified by an unnamed individual who had seen his videos, in which he allegedly abuses the adopted cats, resulting in some of the animals’ deaths.
After learning that the man was purportedly planning to adopt another kitten, the unidentified overseas individual immediately notified cat lovers across China, which led to them hunting Lee.
In a statement on Tuesday, a joint investigation team from the Wuzhong District police said they launched an investigation into the case.
Besides Lee, the authorities said those who were involved in the incident would be dealt with accordingly.
Although it was unclear who the assailants were, some Chinese social media users have speculated that they are part of the Suzhou Small Animal Protection Volunteers Association (SSAPA).
The organization, however, quickly dispelled the rumors online. Speaking to Hong Xing Xin Wen, an SSAPA spokesperson denied their group’s involvement in the incident. The SSAPA also posted on Weibo, saying that they would never do something that extreme.