The actions of dog lovers who used their cars to stop a truck on an expressway that was carrying 320 dogs has sparked heated public debate.
The dog lovers, who drove three vehicles, stopped the truck on its way to Jilin province on Saturday and then fought with the truck driver, according to traffic police in Langfang, Hebei province.
The incident caused traffic congestion on the expressway and left three dog lovers with minor injuries.
The dogs on the truck were pets that were stolen to be sold illegally, according to a report published by Beijing Times.
A dog owner, surnamed Zhang, who said her dog was on the truck, traveled from Tianjin to claim her dog back, the report said.
All dogs on the truck were put into temporary kennels by the police as an investigation into the incident is ongoing.
While calling on people to protect dogs, some netizens condemned the dog lovers' behavior, saying it was extreme and that they should be punished.
"They were lucky that the incident didn't cause casualties or other traffic accidents on the expressway," said Zhang Feng, a media commentator.
Zhang said the dog lovers' feelings deserved respect, but that the tactics they employed to rescue the dogs were irrational and illegal.
However, Pofenghundong, a micro-blogger, said their extremism was caused by the inaction of governments and police.
"The dog lovers felt helpless, so they had to take action themselves," the netizen said.
According to Zhai Yu, who works at a law firm in Shijiazhuang, there are no specific laws to protect pets in China - there are only laws to protect rare animal species.