Heartbreaking pictures show a loyal dog waiting on a bridge for days after its owner had reportedly jumped into a river.Staff doing repairs on the Yangtze River Bridge in Wuhan, in China’s central province of Hubei, first found the light-haired mongrel on June 1. A local resident named as Mr Xu attempted to help the dog on June 5, but it refused food and water and would not move when called, said the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association (SAPA).
Images show the dog staring longingly at the Yangtze River through a section of the bridge balustrades, from which local police later confirmed an as yet unidentified member of the public had been seen plunging from on the night of May 30. Mr Xu attempted to help the dog by carrying it away and driving it off the bridge, but it ran off and has yet to be found, the animal shelter said.
Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news liveVolunteers from the shelter have been unable to locate the dog so far, Wuhan SAPA director Du Fan said on Saturday.
‘Repairman on the bridge said the dog had been there for days since it watched its owner jump,’ said Mr Du, ‘On the day of the incident, it was likely on the bridge with its owner.
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: The American Veterinary Dental Society states that 80% of Dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3.
‘We contacted local police, who helped us review security footage from the day.
‘It was dark and we couldn’t make out too much detail, but the person appeared very decisive. They jumped without hesitation.
‘[On June 5], [Mr Xu] tried to help the dog. He carried it into his car and drove it away from the bridge. But as soon as he opened the door, it jumped out and ran off.
‘We spent the morning looking for the dog, but we couldn’t find it. If any local residents find it, please contact us. We would like to find it a new home.
‘It would be a pity for such a loyal dog to live on the streets as a stray.’
It is so far unknown whether the dog’s former owner was male or female.Wuhan SAPA said in a statement: ‘None of us knows what the dog’s owner had experienced leading up to their decision to jump off the bridge.
‘The dog watched as its owner disappeared into the water below. It cannot speak, and cannot tell us what happened. It could only stand guard in the same spot waiting for its owner to return.
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Having a dog in the house means more bacteria enters the home and gets inside the occupants (one study found “dog-related biodiversity” is especially high on pillowcases.) In turn, people with dogs seem to get ill less frequently and less severely than people with no pets.
‘[Mr Xu] told us the dog looked back at him several times as it was running away. Maybe the dog knew he was trying to help, but he needed to return to the location where its owner had disappeared.’Last month, the animal shelter took in a small dog which had been living in Wuhan Taikang Hospital for three months after its owner was admitted with coronavirus in February and sadly died a few days later. The seven-year-old male mongrel – given the name Xiao Bao (Little Treasure) – arrived at Wuhan Taikang Hospital with his elderly owner at the height of the pandemic in February.
Sadly the pensioner succumbed to the virus after five days, but Xiao Bao refused to leave, according to hospital cleaner Zhu Youzhen, 65.
The shelter was still waiting to rehome the pooch this week.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] .
For more stories like this, check our news page .
Coronavirus Updates from .co.uk
Get the need-to-know coronavirus news, features and tips, right to your inbox.
Not convinced? Find out more »