Should this woman be dyeing her dogs to look like pandas?
A dog owner in Singapore is stirring controversy after having dyed her three purebred Chow Chows to look like pandas. After receiving constant attention when walking the streets with her panda-like dogs, Meng Jiang and her husband decided to start a business that allows customers to pay for photo shoots with their popular pets. But not everyone thinks what they're doing is okay.
When Meng Jiang moved to Singapore with her husband in October of last year, she had no idea that the three Chow Chows she brought along would change her life. After dyeing just one of them to look like a panda, Meng claims that the two other dogs got jealous, and so she decided to transform them into pandas, too. The three dogs, named Toudou, Yumi, and Doudou, are now like local celebrities in Singapore, where Meng and her husband run a photoshoot business that charges people to take pictures with their dogs at any location they please.
As can be expected, certain animal rights groups have taken notice, most notably the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), which has launched an official animal cruelty investigation regarding the situation. The Society of Prevention for Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) also has gotten involved. "SPCA is strongly against such a practice and would advise pet owners to refrain from altering their pet’s appearance in this way because it is unnatural and unnecessary,” they said. “There are also potential side effects with no benefits to the animals — it can be physically harmful and subject the animal to stress in the process. Animals have natural coats and should be appreciated for what they are, rather than trying to alter them artificially.”
But Meng Jiang is not taking this criticism laying down. She has been aggressively defending herself and her actions on her Facebook page. Calling her critics "keyboard crusaders," she points out her use of 100% organic dye, and her insistence on having had a safe procedure done under the supervision of a qualified dog groomer. She also claims to feed her dogs the very best in dog food and even gives them supplements while allowing them to roam free in her 3500 square foot home. According to Meng, the dogs love every moment of looking like pandas. According to others, what she's done to them is a form of animal cruelty.
What do you think? Cruel, or not a big deal?