The Panda Chow Chow dogs of Singapore (named TuDou, YüMi and DouDou) were introduced to the world in January 2016 and received instant internet fame after they were snapped and filmed walking down Singapore’s famous shopping street Orchard Road, outside the luxury goods mall the Ion Shopping Centre.
Photographs and Videos of the Panda Chow Chows walking down Orchard Road were subsequently circulated over the internet and the Panda Chows went viral online in Singapore. With the Panda Chow Chows’ instant fame came allegations from self-proclaimed animal “experts” and “activists” in Singapore as to whether “animal cruelty” had been committed in order for the dogs to achieve their “Panda look.” A small group of online “activists” in Singapore personally targeted Miss Jiang and the Panda Chow Chows by approaching individuals on social media located in Singapore and organizing them into writing derogatory comments on Miss Jiang’s social media accounts and the social media accounts of the Panda Chow Chows.
Online comments made by these “activists” prompted local newspapers and websites such as the Singapore Straits Times, the Singapore Straits Times Stomp blog and Channel News Asia to write articles about the Panda Chow Chows and their online dissenters.
The Singapore Straits Times additionally contacted the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) directly, following claims by online dissenters in their social media comments that they had reported Miss Jiang to the AVA for possible “animal cruelty.” Over the telephone the AVA confirmed with the Singapore Straits Times that complaints had been lodged with the AVA about the welfare of the Panda Chow Chows. By doing so the AVA broke their own laws in keeping cases confidential.
Subsequently the Singapore Straits Times broke with journalistic protocol and published an update to their original article on the Panda Chow Chows entitled AVA is looking into ‘Panda’ Chow Chows’ Welfare. Other media outlets such as Channel News Asia followed suit in an attempt to generate website traffic by publishing about the AVA leak. The article published by Channel News Asia at the time was entitled Dyeing Chow Chows to Look Like Pandas: Cute or cruel?
Following these two tabloid stories in Singapore, the Panda Chow Chows went globally viral, with media outlets such as CCTV News, ChinaNews.com, QQ.com, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Mail Online, The Daily Mirror, The Sun, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, Yahoo News and Tech Insider all publishing stories about the Panda Chow Chows.
Commentary by the public in reaction to these stories outside Singapore has been largely in favor of the dyeing of the Panda Chow Chows. The Global news coverage received by the Panda Chow Chows following Singaporean “activist” commentary seems to have backfired as the Panda Chows Chows recently won a lucrative sponsorship contract with Canadian Pet Food Company Petcurian and the Panda Chow Chows have become the most famous and talked about dogs in the Singaporean media if not the world in 2016.
With regard to the “case” of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore looking into the welfare and wellbeing of the Panda Chow Chows, Dr Javan Fan, the AVA official in charge of the investigation, cited in an official report that: “After thorough investigation by AVA officials and Veterinarian Dr. Javan Fan, the AVA has found that there was no compromise in the Panda Chow Chows’ health and welfare.”
The AVA of Singapore found no other reasons or means to be concerned about the health and wellbeing of the Panda Chow Chows and have therefore officially closed the case as they found the Panda Chow Chows to be in perfect health and physical condition.
Opinions during the AVA investigation into the wellbeing of the Panda Chow Chows, were also provided to press by sources of the Singapore’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). However, according to AVA officials, and their report on the welfare of the Panda Chow Chows, the AVA have stated that they are the official governing body on issues of animal welfare in Singapore and their findings and conclusions are the final rulings.
Commenting on the AVA’s report, TuDou, YüMi and DouDou’s owner and founder of the Panda Chow Chows, Meng Jiang made the following statement: “I am pleased that the AVA decided to go through the correct and official channels to seek the truth. Anyone who has met The Panda Chow Chows or follows their social media accounts knows that they are three of the happiest and most well looked after dogs in the world. It is extremely sad to see online Social Justice Warriors (SJW’s) and online trolls use my dogs as a way to project their personal disdain, abuse and vulgarity in an attempt to bring others down and to elevate themselves in some way to skew other people’s perceptions. Online haters and trolls will always try to project their negativity onto others and it must be ignored, because they are simply totally wrong about the Panda Chow Chows. They literally have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to the welfare of my dogs or any dogs for that matter. Thank you to all the Panda Chow Chows’ supporters for your love and encouragement during this time.”
Panda Chow Chows specialize in family photoshoot experiences in Singapore including Birthdays, Engagements, Weddings, Anniversaries, National Holidays and other celebratory events. Photoshoots take place in a dedicated studio or on location.
Kimberly Chen, Public Relations
Jason Huang, Public Relations