Chinese woman is fighting for justice for her dog who she says was murdered by her canine-hating neighbors in the city of Chongqing earlier this month.
In a viral Facebook post from last week, Leewan Zhang wrote that her 8-year-old golden retriever, Julie, died after eating chicken meat tainted with rat poison that was spread out by an “evil” neighbor on a lawn where her dog loved to play.
“She ate one little bite, and died in a few hours with huge pain and suffering,” Zhang remembered. “I could never forget her scream, her cry and her fight for surviving.”
Zhang said that she was still in deep grief over her dog’s death, explaining that she had raised Julie from a puppy. She explained that Julie was her assistance dog in California and that she had taken her with her when moving back to China, moving to what she believed to be a nice neighborhood in Chongqing’s Yubei district.
However, Zhang claimed that she soon discovered that her neighbors harbored a deep hatred for dogs:
They curse dogs, they make groups to discuss how to kill dogs… what they think is, the environment should only for kids, not for any dogs. I have a neighbor used to abuse me and threatened me for over 4 times that he will kill my dog and all the golden retrievers. I even once called police.
Following Julie’s death, Zhang said that she went to the police, but was told that China has no laws for the protection of animals. “They told me hundreds of dogs die by poison everyday,” Zhang wrote. “No law to punish the evils. So they have nothing to do with it.”
In response, Zhang has pledged to campaign for better animal protection laws in China and to find justice for Julie:
Animal’s lives are fragile doesn’t mean anyone can violate and kill them with their own wish! Every life is equal and precious. But it’s NOT in China! This is not right!! This must be changed!!
Julie’s death is sacred. I will not surrender by the current situation. No matter how many difficulties ahead, or even the devils want to kill me. I will keep fighting for animal right.
Earlier today, Zhang posted an update in Chinese, saying that police had apparently made no progress regarding her case, but that she remained optimistic. She also described how, since coming forward with her story, she had been harassed and threatened by a number of Chinese netizens who accused her of trying to damage the reputation of her homeland and described to her their own plans for murdering dogs.
Zhang warned that she was saving these threatening messages and would share them with the authorities if they continued to come in.
In a bit of good news for Zhang, while it’s certainly true that China’s animal protection laws leave much to be desired, scattering tainted meat in a public place is a danger to humans as well.
Last month, in Liaoning province, a man was sentenced to three years in prison for leaving poisoned chicken liver outside of a residential area in an attempt to kill stray dogs. The poison ended up killing six pet dogs instead.