As the once-booming market for Tibetan mastiffs declines, hundreds of these fierce dogs are struggling for survival, The Paper reported.
The once-prized mastiffs could have been sold for millions of yuan when they were trendy pets for wealthy Chinese.
The boom gave rise to breeding the Tibetan dogs for a time, but many breeders have abandoned them due to waning interest, leaving them to roam around temples or villages.
The large number of stray Tibetan dogs pose a threat to people and livestock. Last November, an 8-year-old girl died after she was mauled by a stray dog in Nangchen County, Northwest China's Qinghai Province.
Elementary students in the county's Maozhuang Township dare not go outside alone for fear of being attacked. In this small town of 9,000 people, the elderly often carry a stick for safety when walking outside.
A Tibetan student said over 500 stray dogs lived near Sumang Temple when he studied there. He once had to take shelter in a farmer's home after he was chased by three dogs.
Dongta, the township chief, said the local government and Zurmang Temple raised 200,000 yuan ($30,500) to build a dog shelter in 2015, which received about 1,200 stray dogs in two weeks.
Dongta said the he faces heavy stress in keeping the dog shelter running. He also called for donations of dog food.