A man being investigated over a Facebook post featuring photographs of a dog churning in a washing machine claims to have fled to the mainland.
The man, who goes by the name of Jacky Lo, posted a status update yesterday 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 online petition urging the police to bring him to justice, with Lo commenting: “Wanted?? This afternoon I’m going back to China. See ya later.”
The pictures, which show a small white dog submerged in water and being spun around helplessly in the washing machine, have sparked outrage, with about 14,000 people signing the petition.
In his post, Lo comments in Chinese: “A super quick way to wash a dog: soak, clean, and dry. All done. Clean and quick!”
He then add a smiley icon and the words “feeling content” in English.
Hong Kong police said they were investigating the case as one of suspected animal cruelty.
So far it is not known whether the Facebook user’s identity is genuine.
It is also not known whether the dog survived, although Lo boasts in comments underneath the photographs and in reaction to a Facebook user’s post that it had died.
In response to a comment underneath asking if the dog was dead, Lo answers: “Yes! Do you want to see it!”
His latest remarks have brought more criticism online, with people calling him a “weak bully”, “shameless”, “sick” and a “monster”.
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 photographs of the dog in the washing machine were originally posted in August, but only began circulating widely early last week.
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.