Chinese netizens angrily condemned on Wednesday the beating to death of a poodle at an airport in southern China because it "threatened" air safety after apparently escaping from its kennel on a plane.
The death on Tuesday of Ge Ge has become a hot topic on Chinese microblogs with thousands of web users slamming the brutal manner in which the small white dog was killed.
According to online poster "Miao Qinglang", the dog's owner, Haikou airport in Hainan province insisted the dog escaped its kennel, ran out onto the runway "threatening" air safety and had to be killed "in accordance with law".
But Miao Qinglang said the kennel that housed the cute 2.2 kilo (five pound) poodle was forcibly opened from the outside, meaning somebody let the dog out to its death.
Photos of the bloody beaten body of Ge Ge, as well as the kennel, were posted on Sina.com's popular microblog Weibo.
Haikou airport apologised for the death and said an investigation was under way.
"We express our deep regret over the accidental death of the pet dog on the afternoon of (January) the 2nd," the airport said in a statement on its weibo page.
"We have already begun an investigation into the matter with Hainan Airlines. As for the development of the follow-up investigation, we will run updates immediately."
The dead dog was on a Hainan Airlines plane that had arrived from Beijing.
Web users posted a report of a similar incident at England's Manchester Airport on December 17 which led to a dozen flights being delayed but ended with the airport staff catching the dog, not killing it.
"Look at how they handled it, we should learn from them. Even dogs in China are inferior to their foreign counterparts," said one weibo posting.
"Just looking at the photo of Ge Ge makes me cry, how could those thugs lay a hand on such a sweet thing, they are a bunch of sons of bitches," said another posting.