They've been all the rage in fashion over the past year. Those beanie hats you've been wearing with the super soft fur baubles. But you probably didn't know that those supposedly "faux-fur' balls are actually made from killing this beautiful creature : a raccoon dog.
Now whilst most of you may have seen a raccoon out the back door, filtering through your trash can, we bet you've never seen a raccoon dog. Unsurprisingly, these gorgeous creatures suffer from a few identity issues – they do look remarkably like raccoons, but they are actually completely unrelated. In fact, they are genetic members of the dog family.
Raccoon dogs are native in East Asia, where some are kept as domesticated pets and their non-domesticated counterparts are known as 'tanuki'.
Although not an endangered species, they are soon becoming one since humans are now killing them for their fur. And that fur might well be on the top of your beanie.
In 2008, the Humane Society of the United States filed a false advertising claim against at least 20 U.S. retailers after finding that 70 percent of faux fur garments they analysed actually contained raccoon dog fur.
Six years later, and the industry is only growing. The hat you see everyone wearing down the street might well have been made out of these dogs' fur.
Kit and Ace, a Vancouver-based fashion brand, is under fire after the National Observer report revealed the company is selling a hat topped with a pom-pom made out of raccoon dog fur. They said it was "Asiatic Raccoon", which is in fact the canine fur.
On the company's website the super soft fur is merely listed as "fur pom pom" under the fabric details, a sketchy description which may be similar to the one describing your own hat.
Unlike many other western countries, Canada has no restrictions on the importing of dog or cat fur. But in the US too, major retailers like Macy's and Kohl's have been caught selling products made out of raccoon dog fur under the labelling of "faux fur".
Meet Tun, a sweet raccoon dog who was rescued as an abandoned pup by a Japanese Twitter user. And this week, the world has gone crazy over how cute he is. Little do they know that they might be promoting the killing of these adorable creatures by wearing their so-called "faux fur".
Millions of animals like Tun are now being killed for their fur each year. Please help us stop this horrific industry from spreading and share this with your friends so that they stop to think before they buy that new hat.
"To all you shifty merchants out there, I put you on on notice, I don't want to see your recycled pom-pom goods down at the markets No More." Dogs are Mans best friend, and One day those dogs will come back to haunt you in their misery, and bring bad Kama."