Chinese sellers are reportedly dyeing dogs so that they look like tigers and trying to pass them off as a valuable rare breed for £27 each. But the thing is, the unfortunate dogs can die of poisoning from the toxic paint if they lick them off their fur prompting internet users to term them 'week dogs' because they die early.

A resident, surnamed Li, from the Yongchuan district of Chonqing in central China spotted a vendor selling the unusual-looking animals in a local park, reports People's Daily Online.

Li said the 'tiger dogs' on display were attractive with golden and black stripes but phoned local reporters to investigate what he realised was a cruel practice. Symptoms of the ink poisoning include extreme lethargy, a runny nose and a refusal to eat anything before the animals die a painful death.  Elisa Allen, associate director at PETA, said: 'Dogs are smart, complex animals, not toys. There is no safe way to dye a dog or any other animal.