According to Qiu, she was forced to leave Snowball since she could not bring any pets with her. She was informed that health workers would disinfect her apartment while she was away.
In the video she shared on Weibo, two workers in protective gear can be seen carrying metal rods and approaching a barking, frightened dog, who attempts to back away. It did not take long for the workers to subdue the small animal by beating it several times with their rods. They immediately leave the room after killing Qiu’s dog.
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In her post, Qiu also shared screenshots of her conversation with the workers. She had told them about Snowball, letting them know that the dog was not aggressive and would not cause them any harm.
“Snowball is like family to me,” she wrote in Chinese. “Without this CCTV evidence, we might still be deceived that our pet was ‘humanely’ put down. I was told by anti-epidemic officials that they would just be disinfecting my home, not killing my dog. Who gave them the right to do that? I also applied and pleaded for the dog to just be sent into quarantine with me, but no one gave me that chance.”
Qiu lamented that she and her boyfriend mourned their dog’s untimely death, spending the past days “in endless regrets and pains.”
“We raised a dog together for three years and three months,” she added. “It was already part of our family, but now he died tragically in his own home.”
An official statement from local authorities acknowledged the incident and noted that the health officials have been suspended.
“We have apologized to the dog owner and will counsel and suspend the workers,” the statement read.
Qiu’s post has sparked anger among social media users, with many calling for justice over Snowball’s death. Chinese tech influencer Naomi Wu was among those who called for the incarceration of the workers.
“Jail- that’s it. Names, pictures, jail,” she tweeted. “No vague assurances of justice. Jail and specific legal protection for pets. No one is going to quarantine without a fight if you are going to murder our pets you suck [sic] f*cks. You will lose to the pandemic because no one will cooperate.”
In November, a pet corgi was similarly killed in China’s Jiangxi Province after its owner was sent to a quarantine facility. Local officials explained that the killing was part of an effort to “thoroughly disinfect” houses amid the rise of COVID-19 cases in the area.
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