A 40-day-old puppy was seriously wounded after its owner apparently put a tight rubber band around its muzzle several times in an attempt to stop it from barking. The incident reportedly took place in the city of Liaoyang in northern China's Liaoning Province.

According to the Daily Mail, the poodle puppy was abandoned on the road and those who found it saw that it had deep cuts in its skin around the muzzle area and was bleeding. Photos posted by the U.K. tabloid shows the puppy's injuries.

"It is okay if you don't like the dog, but don't harm it and leave it alone," an animal lover who found the pooch condemned the dog's owner in a video shared on local news site Pear. Several social media users slammed the "cruel" owner.

The identity of the dog's owner who abused the animal remains unknown.

The latest incident took place just days after a Chinese politician and scholar urged the central government to set up a law to protect pet dogs. There have been several incidents of cruelty toward animals in the country.

Guo Changgang, dean of Shanghai Institutes of International Studies from Shanghai University, recently said China should establish a relevant law to protect companion animals, especially pet dogs, as soon as possible.

The proposal was submitted to the central government last Tuesday in Beijing. Guo said pet dogs were friends to mankind and were loyal to their owners.

"Therefore pet dogs are not ordinary animals, livestock or assets, but creatures capable of giving strong emotional support," the scholar argued.

An estimated 20 million dogs were slaughtered for meat in China annually. According to China's state-run Wenhui News, some 70 percent of them were stolen pets. Meanwhile, the controversial annual Yulin Dog Meat festival is marked every year in Guangxi on summer solstice despite the protests from celebrities and animal lovers across the world. The festival sees up to 11,000 dogs from puppies to elderly animals cooked.

Other animal abuse incidents continue to take place in the country.

In September, a golden retriever was beaten to death by a policeman on a street in front of pedestrians including children in the city of Changsha. A video of the incident went viral on social media at the time. The footage showed the dog chained to a road barrier and beaten by an officer. Local police bureau defended the officer saying he was carrying out his duty of preventing citizens from getting injured by the "out-of-control" dog. The officer was later detained for five days.