In March 2012 (*I believe this should be 2010, but all sources checked stated 2012), a breeder known only Mr. Yu bought a beautiful Tibetan Mastiff from a another breeder. Two years later, it was time to breed the dog and make some money. Yu was an old hand at this -- he had 30 dogs and had been in the business for 15 years.
But first he had to do something.
"The skin of my dog's head was very flabby, so I wanted to cut part of his forehead and straighten the skin," said Yu, according to the Global Times. "And also in this way, his hair would look longer as the rear part of the head will have more hair."
Yes, Yu wanted to give this already stunning dog plastic surgery.
"If my dog looks better, female dog owners will pay a higher price when they want to mate their dog with mine," he said.
So Yu took the dog to the Beijing Yongchangjihe Animal Hospital on Nov. 8, 2012, for this completely unnecessary surgery. On the operating table, the dog died. His heart stopped due to a problem with anesthesia.
Now Yu is suing the hospital, demanding 880,000 yuan ($141,240) compensation for his dog's death. He says he bought the dog at that price. Tibetan Mastiffs get big bucks in China, and have become luxury status symbols -- trophy dogs -- for the elite. A Mastiff sold for 10 million yuan in 2011, and another sold for 20 million yuan last year -- that's more than $3 million.
"If you are rich, you can easily buy a big house or a Lamborghini. But owning a purebred mastiff is quite another thing," said dog breeder Li Yongfu, according to the Telegraph. "It's solid evidence of your wealth, power and taste, and makes a most presentable gift for your clients and partners."
Unsurprisingly enough, animal activists in China are outraged at the surgery."We wouldn't recommend plastic surgery, which doesn't help improve the health or save the life," said Mary Peng, co-founder of the International Center for Veterinary Services. "Any time you do surgery, you are going to deal with the healing of the tissue. It can lead to scarring and infection."
"It's unfair. It only meets the aesthetic desire for the owner, completely ignoring the rights and interests of the dog," said Qin Xiaona, director of the Capital Animal Welfare Association.
What do you think? Is this abuse? Is this ethical coming from a breeder? Should there be a legal consequence for Mr. Yu's actions?"I am also against raising Tibetan Mastiffs in lowland cities like Beijing," Xiaona said. "They should be living on the plateau grassland areas. People shouldn't raise them here just for profit."
Let me hear your opinion, give me a bark!