Last February, a blind man's guide-dog was stolen from him whilst he was out walking in Beijing, China. The theft of the dog caused an outcry over social media and the next day, the animal was returned to its human with an apology note attached to her collar.
On February 22, the female dog, Qiaoqiao, was out fora walk with an assistant when several men in a grey van pulled up and snatched her.Qiaoqiao's human Tian Fengbo is a blind 47-year-old masseur, who depends on his guide-dog to help him get around.
Tian Fengbo was completely devastated by the theft of his beloved companion and shared his story over social media. He explained:
I lost my sight in an accident and have been through many difficulties. But now that Qiaoqiao is gone, I feel like there is something very heavy blocking my chest. Qiaoqiao always accompanied me. She was like a friend to me. Now I feel like I’ve lost a close friend.
The story of Fengbo's stolen guide dog quickly spread like wildfire across China, particularly onWeibo, the popular Chinese social media channel. Internet users expressed their outrageand offered the blind man all their support, whilehis story was shared by some of the biggest international newspapers.The media outcry clearly caught the attention of the dog's kidnappers who, the following day, returned the dog to her human.Tian Fengbo heardQiaoqiao, his loyal companion, come running up to him, whilst out searching for her with family members. Around her neck they found an apology note attached saying, "Please forgive us."
In a telephone interview, Tian said, "Last night she was a bit low spirited, but now she’s fine. She’s right beside me, bouncing and vivacious."Qiaoqiao is one of only about a dozenguide dogs in the Chinese capitalwhich is one of the main reasons her story received so much coverage.
Theft of dogs is a sad reality in China
Sadly, dogs are often kidnapped and stolen in China. Many thieves earn a living by reselling dogsto the prevalent dog meat industry in China.In fact, every summer, thousands of dogs are slaughtered to be served up as meat for the horrific Yulin Festival, which has become the symbol of the dog meat trade.Raise Ur Paw have launched a petition to ban this inhumane tradition, which you can sign here. Almost 4 and a half million people have raised their voice,so please makeyours heard too.