A police car was caught on camera dragging a stray dog by its neck along a road in east China, sparking outrage among net users.
The small dog was filmed struggling and whimpering while being pulled on a leash by a police officer who had one arm out of the passenger window in Nanjing city.
The police have apologised for the ‘mishandling’ of the pooch, saying that the officers on duty did not have an appropriate dog cage at the time and lacked ‘professional knowledge’ in dealing with stray dogs.
The police first responded to a complaint about a stray dog that had been disturbing residents in Jiangning district at 7.50am on Sunday.
However policemen were not able to locate the dog, according to the Jiangning branch of the city’s public security bureau on its official Weibo account.
Officers then received a second complaint of nuisance at about 5.50pm and when they arrived on scene, they found a dog with ringworm and bald spots all over its body.
After capturing the dog, the officers decided to pull it along the vehicle ‘at a slow speed’ to bring it back to the station as they were ‘not equipped with a proper cage and did not have knowledge about handling stray dogs’, according to the statement.
The dog is now under the care of Peace Luck Shelter, a non-profit animal welfare association in Nanjing.
‘Other than suffering from serious skin disease, the dog did not sustain any other injuries and is in good health,’ the shelter said in a Weibo post on Monday.
‘It is currently being treated for its skin condition and is quarantined,’ it added.
The dog has been named ‘Little Peace’.
‘Our unprofessional way of managing the dog has upset many members of the public, especially animal lovers. We sincerely apologise for the incident,’ the police added in their statement.
‘We will accept criticism and supervision from net users and would strengthen training in relevant areas to prevent anything similar from happening in the future,’ they said.
The video of the incident has sparked discussions among upset net users, with many accusing the police of animal abuse.
‘So cruel! What kind of policemen are they?’ One said.
‘Even though it’s a stray dog, the officers shouldn’t have hurt it like that,’ said another.
‘I think they could have handled the situation better,’ said one. ‘This shows that they are completely ignorant when it comes to stray dogs.’
However, many supported the actions of the police men, saying that the dog could have been infectious.
‘I wouldn’t have put the stray dog in my car without a cage – it had a serious skin condition that could have been contagious,’ said one.
‘The car was travelling at a very slow speed,’ said another. ‘I didn’t think the police were at fault – they did the best they could.’