The owner of a golden retriever is demanding answers from the staff at Tianhe International Airport in Hubei’s capital of Wuhan after the dog was allegedly brutalized while airport staff attempted to catch it.
The 11-month-old pooch’s 23-year-old owner said that this dog, identified by Metro as Er Mao, suffered severe injuries to its eyes and body after being handled by airport staff.
The golden retriever reportedly broke out of its cage in the cargo hold of the China Eastern Airlines flight from Shanghai, but it is unclear how the dog escaped in the first place.
It took about eight staff members more than 40 minutes to capture the dog in last Thursday’s incident.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
The owner said he believes excessive force was used to catch the animal.
“My golden retriever, flying with me, landed at [Wuhan] Tianhe airport and was severely assaulted. I wish China Eastern Airlines and Tianhe Airport would give me a reasonable explanation and stop shifting responsibility,” he wrote on social media, according to South China Morning Post.
The owner rushed his dog to the vet where it was discovered that the animal had been abused and shot at with a dart gun, and because of the injuries it may lose its sight.
Posting on Weibo, the owner now demands answers for what happened to his pet from Tianhe Airport and China Eastern, as well as an explanation for how the dog managed to escape from the cage.
His post has garnered more than 130,000 shares and thousands of comments with most netizens calling on the airport and airline to make amends and provide compensation, according to Shanghaiist.
The Wuhan Tianhe International Airport has since responded to the incident saying that the dog was caught and restrained under its emergency response measures.
“In order to prevent the dog from running loose on airport runways or car parks, which could result in severe casualties, airport employees carried out restraining measures based on aviation laws and regulations,” it said.