Goodbye, Zippei: Popular TV Canine Dies of Heat Stroke

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    Back in February, I blogged about internet anger over the treatment of Zippei (ジッペイ), a dog that would travel around Japan for on Nihon TV’s Zip! morning show. Zippei often appeared on live broadcasts, yet never seemed to make any noise. It turned out that his lack of barking due to the fact that the dog had undergone surgery to remove his vocal cords. Some Japanese netizens thought it was cruel to surgically deprive a dog of its ability to make sounds, and questions were raised about NTV’s commitment to the welfare of performing animals.

    The press is now reporting that Zippei has died. Here is the announcement made on the Zip! morning show:

    According to the Yomiuri, the two dogs that took turns playing the role of Zippei died of heat stroke after being left in a hot automobile. The owner claims to have parked the vehicle in the shade and left the air conditioner running. A total of nine dogs were inside it. After returning to the car about an hour later, the air conditioner had apparently stopped working, and all the dogs had collapsed from the heat. Seven of the nine dogs died.

    The YouTube video of NTV’s announcement has already received over 300 comments from Japanese netizens, many of whom doubt the story they are being told. In their eyes, both the owner and NTV already have a proven record of mistreating the dogs, so why should they be trusted?

    It is truly saddening to think of those poor dogs, dying inside a hot vehicle, deprived of the ability to cry for help because their owner had them surgically de-barked.

    [hat tip to Aceface]

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