Authorities rescued more than 50 dogs held in overcrowded conditions by a Chinese citizen in the España neighborhood of Cartagena, Colombian media reported Friday.
According to El Universal, police arrived at the house of a Chinese citizen, Gabriel Chang, after an angry mob armed with pick axes, sticks, and rocks gathered outside his house demanding the release of the animals.
Chang, shirtless and wielding a stick, demanded that police protect him from the angry neighbors trying to enter his house.
“They kill dogs every night to take them to a Chinese restaurant,” alleged one member of the mob.
After waiting a few hours for a search warrant from the Prosecutor General’s Office, animal rights activists and authorities decided to take action before the situation got out of hand. They convinced Chang to allow them to enter the house to calm the growing crowd.
Upon entering the house, they found 38 adult dogs and 18 puppies, some fat and others skinny, held in confined quarters. Authorities took away 50 dogs but left six of the oldest with Chang.
Upon hearing the news, more neighbors gathered to see if they could identify any of the animals as their own missing dogs.
“Every day we would take our dog on a walk and one day he was peeing outside and when we went to look he was gone, so we believe that the Chinese man has it here,” explained one spectator whose dog has been missing for two months.
Chang denied the accusations, saying that he feeds and takes care of the animals. Although he maintained he did not own a Chinese restaurant, he acknowledged that his father did but reassured authorities the restaurant did not serve dog.
Chang plans to sue those who tried to break into his house.