Were dozens of stray dogs buried alive in northern China?By Wilfred Chan, CNNUpdated 12:52 AM ET, Tue April 29, 2014Saved from burial 5 photosSaved from burial – Members of the Yinchuan Stray Animals Home charity rescued 5 stray dogs who survived an apparent mass burial. Hide Caption 1 of 5Saved from burial 5 photosSaved from burial – "You could see the terror in their eyes and they were very afraid of people," said a volunteer with the charity.Hide Caption 2 of 5Saved from burial 5 photosSaved from burial – "They wouldn't leave one another," said another worker, named Zhang. "They looked quiet and depressed."Hide Caption 3 of 5Saved from burial 5 photosAttempting rescue – A group attempts to dig into a pit where up to 100 stray dogs were seen trapped earlier. Volunteers at the Yinchuan Stray Animals Home suspect someone filled the pit with soil, burying the dogs alive.Hide Caption 4 of 5Saved from burial 5 photosAttempting rescue – A man tries to approach a dog near the scene of an apparent mass burial of stray dogs in Inner Mongolia, China.Hide Caption 5 of 5Story highlightsVolunteers saw many dogs in a pit and helped save some of themWhen a charity came to save the remaining dogs, the pit was filled with soilThe charity dug the next day and found 6 dead dogsMany dogs still remain missingChinese Internet users are expressing anger amid claims of as many as 100 stray dogs being buried alive in the Inner Mongolia region of northern China.While no one is disputing there were dogs in the pit, no one is taking responsibility for how the dogs got there -- and now many dogs' corpses are nowhere to be found.Desperate missionIt all began when pictures showing scores of dogs trapped in a deep pit began circulating on Chinese social media, with a message asking for help."I saw the pictures of the dogs in the pit from WeChat," a local woman, who asked not to be named, told CNN. "I and several other volunteers went to look for the pit and we found it."Using ropes, the group managed to save 20 dogs Wednesday afternoon."We first tried buckets and ladders, but nothing worked. Then we tied a knot to make a loop with a rope, dropped the loop into the pit, lured the dogs into the loop with food, and got them out of the pit with the rope."Just WatchedStray dog runs 1,000-mile racereplayMore Videos ...Stray dog runs 1,000-mile race 00:43PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedDog guards owner's grave in ChinareplayMore Videos ...Dog guards owner's grave in China 00:57PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedThe world's most expensive dogreplayMore Videos ...The world's most expensive dog 01:12PLAY VIDEOWith many dogs left in the pit, the volunteers contacted a nearby animal charity, the Yinchuan Stray Animals Home, for assistance. But when Yinchuan went to save the dogs the next morning, they found just a few dogs running around and barking. To their horror, the pit had been completely filled in with soil. Lacking tools to dig, the team rescued the few dogs they could see."You could see the terror in their eyes and they were very afraid of people," said Liu, a Yinchuan volunteer."They wouldn't leave one another," said another worker, named Zhang. "They looked quiet and depressed."On Friday, Yinchuan returned with an excavator and dug. They found six dead dogs -- but that left many dogs unaccounted for.The volunteers theorize that the missing dogs were killed, then moved to a new site. If so, who could be responsible?"Shameful"After news of the incident broke, a furor was unleashed online, with the story shared and discussed thousands of times over the course of the week.The large majority of users expressed rage at the incident, calling it "shameful" and "inhumane." Some called for the establishment of animal cruelty laws in China -- the country currently has no such laws.Users accused local enforcement officials -- known as chengguan -- of burying the dogs.But officials denied the accusations that they were responsible."Our investigation shows that what's spreading online is untrue," said a spokesperson named Wang from the publicity department of Axla Left Banner, an administrative division in Inner Mongolia.Meanwhile, the local woman who helped save the first 20 dogs says she is reluctant to draw any conclusions, as the volunteers "only found six bodies."Asked if she believed the remaining dogs were saved, she said, "I really don't know. 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