Men on Scooter Drag Pet Dog by Leash for Over 1 Mile

Two men were arrested by police on Monday after they were filmed dragging an exhausted dog behind their moving scooter for over a mile, but the suspects face no abuse charges because of China's lax animal protection laws, rights group PETA told Newsweek.

Distressing footage of the incident from the city of Tongren, which is in southwestern China's Guizhou Province, has circulated on Chinese social media platforms since being captured on a mobile phone camera by local resident Wu.

Wu told provincial newspaper Guiyang Evening Post he spotted the alleged animal abuse at around 10 a.m. local time on Monday while driving along a thoroughfare with his wife.

In Wu's video, he can be heard hooting repeatedly at the two suspects who are riding away at speed while dragging the limp dog by its leash. His wife then shouts out the passenger-side window: "You're killing it!"

By his estimate, they drove for more than 1.2 miles with the injured dog in tow, Wu told the newspaper.

He said: "When [the owner] got on his scooter, I noticed the dog had an injured leg. It ran behind for about 5 to 6 meters (16 to 19 feet) before collapsing. But the scooter didn't stop after the dog had collapsed. It sped away, and that didn't sit right with me.

I hooted at them to get their attention. They ignored me, so I caught up and confronted them. After they stopped, the man riding the back picked up the dog and tried to walk away. I followed him. My wife, who was in the passenger seat, called the police."

In Wu's cellphone footage, he pursues one of the men on foot until they stop behind a row of shrubs.

He shouts: "Are you the owner of this dog? Are you the owner? Answer me!"

Wu's video then cuts to two uniformed police officers questioning one of the suspects, pointing to the injured dog still lying limp on the ground.

"The dog was badly injured. Its fur had come off from being dragged and it was bleeding. I think one of its legs was broken," Wu said.

A local police officer identified by the surname Li said the authorities were in touch with the dog's owner.

The animal's injuries were "severe," Li noted, without saying which animal hospital the dog was sent to.

The men, whose names have been withheld by the police, told investigators they became angry after the dog had chased and bitten one of them, apparently without provocation, the report said.

They decided to take their anger out on the dog and dragged it behind their vehicle, the police told the paper. The case was still being investigated at the time of writing.

If found guilty of intentionally injuring the pet, the suspects could be ordered to compensate the owner by paying the animal's vet bills.

However, the pair are likely to escape further legal consequences for the alleged animal abuse as China has no laws prohibiting the injuring or killing of small animals such as dogs or cats, especially strays.

Keith Guo, media officer for the Asia branch of animal rights group PETA, told Newsweek in a written statement: "Animal abusers take their issues out on vulnerable victims, and often, their targets aren't limited to animals. Experts have identified cruelty to animals as a sign of psychopathy and a red flag indicating a potential for escalating violence.

"Humans who abuse animals pose a significant threat to the entire community, and since China has no penalties for the abuse of animals, violent individuals such as these men go unpunished. This is yet another tragic example of why China needs an animal-protection law."

China animal culture
File photos: Puppies are seen in a cage at a dog meat market in Yulin, Guangxi, on June 21, 2017. STR/AFP via Getty Images

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