A man in southwestern China has been accused of throwing his family pets out of his 21st-floor flat after a heated argument with his wife, according to mainland media reports.
Witnesses saw the two animals fall to their deaths from the block of flats in Chongqing’s Shapingba district on Thursday.
The man’s wife had recently become pregnant and he wanted her to get rid of the animals, The Beijing News reported.
Photos and videos widely circulated online showed the animals – a golden retriever and a cat – lying dead on the grass patch below the building as a woman sobbed in the background.
“After it happened, I saw Jack [the dog] and a cat lying on the ground,” a resident identified only by her surname Chen told the newspaper.
She claimed that the cat was pregnant and said she recognised the dog because she often saw it with the man when she was out walking her own pets.
Chen initially assumed it was an accident and immediately alerted the owner as well as the estate’s pet owners group on WeChat.
The owner did not respond to the message and would not answer the door even when residents went up to tell him about the matter, she said.
It was only when the residents found the dog’s leash and feeding bowl had also gone out of the window that they realised it might not have been an accident, Chen said.
They then reported the matter to the police, who managed to contact the owner.
The owner, however, refused to deal with the animals’ bodies, leaving it to the estate’s residents to bury them nearby that night, she was quoted as saying.
“I used to see the husband walking the dog all the time. I never thought he would do something like this,” another resident, who was not named, told Chinese news portal Sohu.com.
The owner of the pets had been rowing with his wife because he did not want her to keep the pets after giving birth, according to an estate security guard.
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He had learned about the argument when the wife’s mother had been locked out of the flat after the row.
The owner put up a notice in the estate on Sunday, stating that the incident had been “a complete accident” and that he would “reflect on his mistake”.
But the incident continued to draw condemnation on Chinese social media.
“The fundamental part of being a human is knowing how to respect life,” wrote one commenter on Weibo.
“He should be locked up for threatening public safety. What if someone had been struck by the falling animals?” another user wrote.
Neither the police nor the estate’s security services have taken any action against the man.
In China, there are no specific laws against cruelty to animals.
This article Chinese man ‘threw cat and dog out of 21st-floor flat’ after heated row with wife first appeared on South China Morning Post