Chinese cafe faces backlash after painting dogs to look like pandas

Cute or cruel? Cafe is offering dying service for pets

Harry Cockburn
Wednesday 23 October 2019 12:41
Panda cubs roam around at south-western China panda cafe

A cafe in China where chow-chow dogs have had their fur dyed so as to make them look like baby giant pandas has become a target for complaints over the treatment of the animals.

The Cute Pet Games Cafe in Chengdu, in China’s south western Sichuan province, opened last month, and at first glance appeared to be home to no fewer than six cuddly baby pandas.

But they were in fact white dogs whose faces, ears and limbs have been dyed black, giving them the appearance of panda bear cubs.

A video of the rotund dogs wandering around, nibbling one another and being petted inside the cafe has gone viral on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

According to Chengdu Business Daily, “in the store, there are six chow chow dogs who have successfully ‘transformed’,” the news outlet reports.

Pandering to their audience: Cute Pet Games Cafe’s ‘panda dogs’

“The customers in the store prefer to call them ‘panda dogs’,” it adds.

The cafe apparently offers the dying service so other people’s pets can be transformed into panda dogs for 1,500 yuan (£165).

The owner of the cafe, identified as a man named Mr Huang on Weibo, said the dye used was imported from Japan, and does not affect the animals.

A chow chow dog dyed in the likeness of a giant panda is seen between door curtains at the cafe in Chengdu, Sichuan province

He said the viral video had prompted a rise in visitor numbers.

But the dying of the dogs has drawn widespread criticism, with one vet telling Hongxing News it could do the animals serious damage.

“This could damage their fur and skin,” Li Daibing told the news outlet.

People in China pointed out on social media that hair dye can “damage people’s hair and scalp”, so it could therefore have the same impact on other animals.

Others said: “It’s really cute”.

Earlier this year the organisers of the Latitude Festival in Suffolk were accused of “animal cruelty” for their regular festival practice of dying sheep bright colours.

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