A dog owner in China was forced to watch as her dog destroyed her house while she was stuck in quarantine.
The woman, named Liu, watched from a surveillance camera as her wardrobe and furniture were trashed by the pooch.
Her story has prompted discussion in China on how pets should be dealt with amid the pandemic.
A woman required to quarantine for 14 days amid a COVID-19 outbreak in the Chinese city of Xi’an had her house turned upside down by her dog and could do nothing but watch as she monitored her living room through a surveillance camera.
The owner, identified as Liu by Chinese media outlet HouLang News, said she wasn’t allowed to bring pets into quarantine with her, so she prepared enough food for her dog, set up a surveillance camera, and left it alone at home.
After she left, Liu’s dog sat at the front door, waiting for her to return. On the second day, the dog became agitated and started ripping apart her sofa, said the dog owner, in a video published by HouLang News that’s accrued 12 million views on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
“Every single day, it was tearing up the house. Every single day it was destroying a new item. Almost everything in the house is broken now,” she said.
Footage from Monday afternoon shows Liu’s dog chewing a hole through her sofa and rummaging through a wardrobe as an assortment of household items lays strewn across the floor with broken furniture in the background.
“It destroyed all of my bags, my shoes, and my clothes,” Liu said, adding that she had a week left of quarantine and had already started buying new furniture online.
Her story has prompted some Weibo users to advocate that pets be allowed to go with their owners to quarantine, in a discussion that’s reached 310 million views, according to the platform. Others asked if a pet volunteer program or government agencies could step in to care for animals left behind by owners in quarantine.
Last month, Xi’an, a city of 13 million, experienced one of China’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks since the original epidemic in Wuhan — a disaster for Beijing’s COVID-zero plan to eliminate the virus. In early January, after two weeks of lockdowns, officials said the coronavirus situation in Xi’an was “under control,” AFP reported, though many remain in quarantine or under lockdown.
Despite the damage to her home, Liu counts herself lucky. “At least my dog is still healthy. It hasn’t eaten anything that bad. In seven days, we can return home, and things will get better,” she said. “The house may be trashed, but we can clean it up, and it’ll be okay.”
Chinese authorities have repeatedly struggled with what to do with pets while residents quarantine. In Shangrao city, Jinan province, city officials apologized after a city employee entered a citizen’s home and beat a dog to death last November while the owner was quarantining in a hotel. Several reports also emerged in 2021 of cats being killed in various Chinese cities while their owners were sent to quarantine.
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