BEIJING - A woman who allegedly threw a dog from the sixth floor of her home in south-west China has apologised to the dog's owner, in a case which has triggered much outrage on Chinese social media.
The woman, surnamed He, 34, is believed to have carried out the act after the corgi's owner went to her flat in Chengdu, in Sichuan province, to negotiate for the pet's release, Chinese and Hong Kong media reported.
Ms Wu, the owner, now intends to take the matter to court, reported the South China Morning Post.
The corgi, named Lion, went missing in December. Ms Wu was later told by a security guard at her residential estate that he had given the dog to two men living nearby, thinking that it was a stray.
The two men then gave the dog to Ms He, after they found it too noisy, according to China Daily.
When pressed by Ms Wu, the two men gave her Ms He's contact number.
Ms Wu started negotiating with Ms He on WeChat for Lion's return, but the latter refused to let Ms Wu take back the dog.
Ms He even intimidated Ms Wu, suggesting in her WeChat messages that Ms Wu have sex with her so-called "brother" when she went to collect the dog.
WeChat messages circulating on social media showed that Ms He kept asking for money from Ms Wu to buy dog food and a kennel, and also threatened to kill the dog for food.
"If I'm in a good mood, I'll treat the dog well, but when I'm in a foul mood, I'll kick the dog, and if my daughter doesn't like the dog, we may just kill the dog and eat it," Ms He apparently said in one of the messages.
Ms Wu offered to buy the dog back, but Ms He rejected the proposal and threatened to send her a video clip of people roasting dog meat.
After half a month of futile negotiations, Ms Wu sought the help of the public on social media and managed to track down where Ms He lives with her daughter.
However, Ms He refused to open the door when Ms Wu went to her flat last Thursday, China Daily reported.
When Ms Wu heard her dog bark inside, after calling the corgi's name, she called the police.
The police forced open the door, but Ms He had apparently already thrown the dog out of the window, the Post reported.
Denying that she had thrown the dog down, Ms He said she had tied the dog with a rope and intended to lower it down the building, but the rope loosened, and the dog plunged to its death.
Outraged by the incident, some netizens said Ms He should compensate Ms Wu for her loss.
"Why throw the dog down? If you are so capable, come take the matter up with me. This is too cruel," said a netizen.
A lawyer cited by Beijing News said Ms He should not be considered as trying to extort money from Ms Wu as she did not name an amount.
However, the police should investigate Ms Wu's claim that she felt threatened by Ms He's WeChat messages to see if the latter had broken the law, the lawyer added.