One dog drags himself around with his front paws because his hind legs have been brutally clubbed. Two Pekinese are blinded, their eyes scratched out. A white cat's pelvis has a large, red gash running down it.
But even if the people who tortured these animals were caught, there is no law to prosecute them.
China has laws banning harm to endangered animals, but none protecting other animals. Increasingly, a small but growing number of animal activists and pet owners in China are pushing to build a humane society and legislate animal protections.
Following years of pressure by rights advocates, Beijing is this month mulling draft regulations to stop animal abuse, which will specify how animals should be raised, transported and for those eaten, slaughtered.
Whether the first-ever move succeeds would be seen as a reflection of China's rising living standards being extended into an awareness for protecting animals, animal activists say.
Lu Di, an activist who runs one of China's few shelters for animals which houses the paralyzed and blinded dogs and butchered cat, said a law is long overdue.
"China is a serious disaster zone for animals," said Lu, a retired literature professor whose small three-bedroom apartment is stacked with cages housing nearly 100 abused and abandoned animals.
"If you're weak, you would go crazy watching what happens here. If you're clear-headed, you would realize this cannot continue. To allow this to go on, [shows] we're definitely not a civil society."
Stories of abuse abound, but are never investigated by police.
In Beijing's Tongxian county, markets each day line up bound dogs in a row, pulling their front legs back as they are slit down the stomach, skinned and sold as dog meat while the other dogs watch whimpering and dazed in horror, Lu said.
Customers standing by shout "I want this piece of meat, that piece of meat, or I'm waiting for the skin."
"Not only do we kill them, in killing them, we let their own kind see what's happening and what awaits them. This is extremely cruel," Lu said.
"When I pleaded with the local police to stop this, they said they have no authority to interfere as China doesn't have any laws banning the killing, or providing guidlines for the way of killing, selling or eating dogs."
Even laws protecting animals at risk of extinction are frequently violated, partly due to poor enforcement and partly public ignorance.
"I often encounter people in forests whose first response when they see a wild animal is `If I had a gun, I would shoot it,'" said Lu Tongjing, a former miner who has devoted his retirement to trying to save wildlife.
Some of the worst violaters are government officials, he said.
"It's the officials who have guns. They go hunting for fun, but unlike the ethnic minorities who have lived in nature for generations, they don't know what's an endangered species and how to spot and avoid shooting a mother or yearling, which should not be hunted," Lu said.
Lu Tongjing frequently travels to China's northern desert border areas to try to save endangered Asian wild camels and other wildlife.
Wild camels on the Mongolia side of the border must migrate to an oasis in China's northwestern Xinjiang region to give birth to baby camels, but a barbed wire fence at the border prevents them from crossing, he said.
The fence is leading to a depletion in the camel population which has already dwindled over the years to only a few thousand, he said.
During his trips, he has found endangered animals killed, their bodies tangled in barbed wire over which they had tried to jump.
In the southern province of Guangdong, animal markets, where terrified screaming animals -- from dogs to civet cats and pangolins -- are beaten alive and boiled and skinned in front of customers, have operated for years, feeding the appetite for exotic foods by China's rich.
The markets were only shut down last year when scientists found evidence suggesting the potentially deadly SARS virus might be transmitted from wildlife to humans.
Despite the groundswell of animal rights activities, only days after Beijing newspapers reported the proposed animal protection regulations which would mandate that farm animals be killed with as little pain as possible, the Beijing government removed the draft law off its Web site.
The Beijing Morning Post later quoted an official saying the law would not be passed for at least five years and shouldn't be publicized.
Opponents, including economists, meanwhile argued China is not ready for such laws.
"As soon as you talk about animal rights, you're talking about money. Our farms are small, poorly ventilated buildings. Our slaughterhouses are not modern. How can you expect a farmer in China to copy the West?" said Qiao Xinsheng, a legal expert at Wuhan-based Zhongnan Zhengfa University in east China.
"This is unrealistic. If we want to apply Western standards to China, then many people in China would have no right to raise animals."
"China just barely left the stage when people were wondering where their next meal will come from," Qiao said. "They can't think about animals yet."