Imagine the most divine, prestigious dog with luscious fur and an ominous presence. You are probably thinking of a Tibetan mastiff. Mastiffs are independent and intelligent. They have a low, gravelly bark and fur that keeps them through long winters. They are fierce and beautiful like a jungle cat, yet reserved and loving like a teddy bear.
Not only that, but they cost about 60 dollars a day to feed and some have been reportedly sold to elite Chinese businessmen for around $300,000.
However, if you asked someone in China about mastiffs in 2017, “prestigious” would be the last word they’d think of.
In 2013, Tibetan mastiff breeders saw this booming trend as their dogs became a symbol of status in big-city China and went crazy with it. So many mastiffs were bred that now nearly half of the breeders are out of business. In some cases, too, breeders even stuffed their dogs with silicone to boost their mass and lavishness.
This year, truckloads of the dogs have been hauled to slaughterhouses for $5 a head. Activists groups in China, on numerous occasions, have literally leapt in front of these cars to save the dogs.
But it’s an ongoing battle.
None of this is new. Breeders have reported witnessing this same horrific cycle with each fad of purebred. While 2017 has spawned an unparalleled slaughter, Dalmatians, huskies, German shepherds, and golden retrievers have all been past victims.
This has to stop. Our furry friends are counting on us.