TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A popular coffee shop in Taipei has been accused of abusing its pet raccoon after a video began circulating on social media Sunday (June 28) showing the shop owner unleashing his German shepherd to force the mammal back inside its cage.
Advertising interaction sessions with its resident pets, the well-known Touching Café (Touching感溫甜點咖啡) became the focus of controversy Sunday when the abusive behavior of the shop owner, surnamed Tang (湯), was caught on camera. Prior to the video being shared on Facebook, a netizen who goes by the name Jie Lee also said she and her son saw Tang kick the pet raccoon and tie it to the foot of a table on Friday (June 26).
Lee expressed concern that this was not the first incident of the raccoon being mistreated by its owner. She also shared screenshots of conversations between Tang and a former staff member in which Tang admitted he had beaten the raccoon with a tennis racket until it bled and plucked its mouth when it misbehaved.
In a video shared by user Kyle Hou two days later, a middle-aged man identified as Tang can be seen unleashing his dog to force the raccoon back into its cage, grabbing its neck with his mouth. The raccoon wailed piteously but could not escape the much larger opponent.
The video has enraged Taiwan's internet community and animal lovers, including many who bashed Tang for running an abusive circus. Meanwhile, several Facebook users also pointed out that the café had been extremely rude to customers who gave it a bad rating on Google.
According to reporters, Tang said he had reported the netizens' defamation to the police and stressed that the animals had been well-cared for. He also said he wished to find the staff member who leaked the conversation screenshots and falsely accused him of animal abuse.
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