A video shows a community officer in Yongjia County, Zhejiang Province, beat a dog to death with a wooden club in broad daylight, as some residents watched on.
According to animal activists, the incident took place in Huangsha Village. It is said officers slaughtered all chickens and dogs after two visitors of the community were diagnosed with the virus.
The widespread fears were sparked by comments made by one of China’s top experts for infectious diseases.
Prof. Li Lanjuan, a member of the senior expert team from China’s National Health Commission, last month warned that pets would also need to be quarantined should they be exposed to coronavirus patients.
Authorities in China are now trying desperately to stop people from throwing away their pets.
The World Health Organization says that there is no evidence dogs and cats can be infected with the virus.