Photos of a dog churning in a washing machine have gone viral since gaining public attention last Thursday. The man who posted the photos on Facebook is thought to have fled to the mainland on Saturday and his Facebook page appeared as “not available” as of today.
The pictures, which show a small, white dog submerged in water and being spun around helplessly in the washing machine, have sparked outrage, with at least 21,000 people signing an online petition calling for him to be punished.
The man, who goes by the name of Jacky Lo, posted a status update on Saturday in which he bragged that he was on his way out of Hong Kong as pressure mounted for him to be punished.
The post included a link to the petition, with Lo commenting: “Wanted?? This afternoon I'm going back to China. See ya later.”
The photographs of the dog in the washing machine were originally posted in August.
In his post, Lo comments in Chinese: “A super quick way to wash a dog: soak, clean, and dry. All done. Clean and quick!”
In response to a comment underneath asking if the dog was dead, Lo answers: “Yes! Do you want to see it!”
Although it has not been confirmed whether the Facebook identity is genuine, the photographs appear to be real.
Hong Kong police said they were investigating the case as one of suspected animal cruelty and no arrests had been made so far.
Some of the posts claim Lo is from the mainland and draw attention to photographs on his Facebook page that show him playing golf, partying at luxury hotels, gambling in Macau and posing next to expensive cars.
The page also features various photos of Tuen Mun.
The Hong Kong Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said what was being done to the dog was “truly horrific” and urged the public to be vigilant and report suspected cases of animal abuse.
“We do not recommend sharing and circulating these photos or videos on websites to avoid inviting more copycat [cases],” the society said.
Animal cruelty carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of HK$200,000.