Chinese prosecutors are investigating the death of a Tibetan Mastiff, regarded as the one of the most costly dogs in the world after its owner slapped a $144,000 law suite against the Vet who conducted a plastic surgery on it.
Prosecutors in Tongzhou, a district in Beijing told the Global Times a man surnamed Yu, the owner of a dog farm in Shunyi district, sued the Vet surnamed Li, over the death of his dog at Yongchangjihe Animal Hospital three months ago while under going plastic surgery.
A report on the dog's death stated that it had died after its heart stopped after an anaesthesia administered during the operation, state run Global Times quoted a court's press release as saying.
Yu has demanded 880,000 Yuans (USD 144,000) compensation for his dog's death, claiming he bought it from another dog breeder in March, 2012 at that price.
Yu said he decided to give a face lift when it grew to about two years old and became suitable for mating.
"The skin of my dog's head was very flabby, so I wanted to cut part of his forehead and straighten the skin.
And also in this way, his hair would look longer as the rear part of the head will have more hair," said Yu.
The surgery cost 1,400 yuan. Yu said the forehead lift would make the dog look more attractive so he could make more profit.
Animal experts have said that performing plastic surgery for the aesthetic desire of owners and breeders is unfair to animals.
Yu said it was the first time he tried to have a skin lift done, but some of his dogs had previously had surgery to make their ears become erect.
The extravagant prices paid for Tibetan Mastiffs have often hit the headlines in recent years, and they are seen as luxury status symbols for China's elite.
The defendant Li declined to comment.
Animal welfare activists said they would never recommend plastic surgery for pets, let alone for the commercial trade.
"Any time you do surgery, you are going to deal with the healing of the tissue.
It can lead to scarring and infection. We wouldn't recommend plastic surgery, which doesn't help improve the health or save the life," said Mary Peng, co-founder of the International Center for Veterinary Services.