We’ve seen plenty of stories of the unethical ways animals are sold, but this one is an appalling new low.
Viral footage of an arcade game in the Longemont Shopping Mall in Shanghai has shocked viewers because of the unusual “prize” inside the machine: live puppies and kittens.
Footage of the bizarre game machine went viral on the Chinese social media site Weibo, being viewed 1.2 million times.
The coin-operated game promises users can win the “top prize” of the kittens and puppies trapped inside, living in small cages.
While the cutesy artwork on the outside shows happy smiling animals, it’s safe to say the puppies and kittens inside are not so joyful.
And even if these animals were “won” by some lucky passerby, what happens to them then? Someone who sees pets as something to win in a vending machine isn’t likely to treat them well; there’s seemingly nothing stopping an animal abuser from winning one.
According to the Daily Mail, the machine was operated by a company called Yi Chong Yi Wu, who said they put up the machine as part of a Halloween event.
But as the story went viral, they quickly became under fire from animal rights groups.
“Animals aren’t disposable toys. It’s not a harmless arcade game but rather a matter of life and death,” PETA said in a statement to the Daily Mail.
“They can easily be hurt by being repeatedly dropped, and some have been left to endure a painful death from dehydration or starvation.”
Luckily, in response to all the outrage, the company has agreed to take down the machines.
The company apologized, saying no puppy or kitten had been harmed in the game but admitting they looked tired due to “bad ventilation of the machine.”
“We have sincerely understood the suggestions raised by netizens. At the same time, we decided to shut down the project for rectification,” the company said in a statement, according to Daily Mail.
“The machine will not be placed in crowded places such as malls before a new plan is released. Meanwhile, we will improve the problems of the machine and the interactive process.”
As the machines were taken down, a total of fourteen dogs and cats were rescued, and will be put up for adoption.
It’s shocking anyone would think to keep these puppies locked up as prizes, but we’re glad these puppies and kittens are safe now.
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