BEIJING - Claims that about 100 stray dogs were buried alive in northern China are being investigated, an official said Sunday, the latest apparent case of animal cruelty to shock the nation. Allegations that a pit pictured online Wednesday containing scores of stray dogs had been filled in by local government officials were made by a charity based in Inner Mongolia. The Yinchuan Dawn Pets Home group investigated after a woman searching for her pet dog near a garbage dump in Alxa League, near China’s border with Mongolia, told them that the animals were trapped on Wednesday.

When the charity visited the site the following day, they found that the pit had been filled in.

A charity volunteer told AFP that another visit was made on Friday, but by then it appeared that the dead dogs had been moved elsewhere, in what the group said was an attempt by local officials responsible for enforcing city laws - called Chengguan in China - to hide the grim burial.