A restaurant owner in China was chased by a group of enraged dog owners this week after being accused of killing and stealing their pets.
The restaurateur, surnamed Du, reportedly said he had shot dead the dogs with a crossbow because he wanted to make dog hotpot, a specialty at his restaurant.
Bodies of eight dead dogs were found in the boot of Mr Du’s Volkswagen after he managed to escape the villagers’ chase and left his car abandoned, said the police.
Eight pet dogs were killed and put in a car boot by a restaurateur in Yichang, central China
Chutian Jin Daily reported that the pet owners are from the WuLongSanZu village.
After realising their pets had been stolen, they drove a car to chase the suspect in Yichang, Hubei Province.
The car chase has been captured by a surveillance camera at around 8:30am on September 13.
The villagers alerted the Yichang police, who dispatched officers to nearby streets to search for the suspected dog snatcher.
Officers later found a black Volkswagen being abandoned on the side of a road, with a left wheel detached from its body.
The car was parked in front of a residential complex. It was seriously damaged, with marks on the left door.
Police searched around the car and found eight dead dogs in the car boot. The dogs were believed to be villagers’ pets.
By tracing the owner of the car’s insurance licence, the police discovered that the vehicle belonged to Mr Du.
As the officer started investigating, Mr Du reportedly turned himself in to the police at 2pm on the same day.
Mr Du explained that he ran a hotpot restaurant. He claimed that dog meat hotpot was the restaurant’s best-selling dish, so he decided to hunt for more dogs to help him draw more customers.
Mr Du told the police that he drove his car to the village with his wife, surnamed Wang, at 4am.
He used a crossbow to kill the dogs as his wife was on guard. Then he put the dogs’ bodies in the car boot.
Animal rights group PETA Asia has expressed its concerns over the fact that a large number of domestics dogs in China are being hunt for ‘inhumane purposes’.
Keith Guo, press officer at PETA Asia, China, told MailOnline that there were reports which showed ‘millions of dogs are cruelly bludgeoned and killed to be used for food and leather every year’.
‘Besides these eight dogs, we don’t know how many other animals have been poisoned to death for their flesh,’ he said.
The country has also been accused of allowing a dog-meat festival to be held every year on the Summer Solstice in Yulin, southern China’s Guangxi Province.