Philadelphia Asian restaurant falsely accused of selling cat and dog meat
After a Metro story told of a restaurant that was caught serving dog and cat meat was shut down, neighborhood gossip queens decided Danny's was the restaurant in question and spread their assumptions throughout Facebook.
Danny's Wok in Southwest Philadelphia. Credit: Charles Mostoller
George Bengal still won't reveal the name of the West Philadelphia restaurant that butchered cats and dogs and sold its meat.
But here's a hint: It's not Danny's Wok.
After a Metro story told of a restaurant that was shutdown after it was caught serving dog and cat meat, neighborhood gossip queens decided Danny's was the restaurant in question and spread their assumptions throughout Facebook.
"Every day I get at least 100 calls," said Danny Cheng, owner of the Chinese restaurant on the 5000 block of Baltimore Avenue that's known for its wings. "I get headache!"
Bengal, director of law enforcement for the Pennsylvania SPCA, said he won't name the restaurant because it "re-opened up under a new name, and a new owner, so I don't know that I want to do that and open up another can of worms."
The original restaurant was shut down by the health department 11 years ago. It's no longer in operation. And the SPCA said it has not issued a cruelty to animals citation to a restaurant since.
Cheng said people call from New York, Washington D.C. and New Jersey.
"I don't know why," he said. "A week ago, people called and asked, 'Are you still open?'"
He said: "Yeah, what do you want?" And then they hung up.
The next day, the same person called back: "You're not shut down? Tell me why."
Cheng told the caller it's all "nonsense."
"OK," the caller said. "You send me the cat and dog meal."
In Pennsylvania, it is illegal for restaurants to sell and serve cat or dog meat. However, it is legal for a person to kill a dog or cat and eat it, as long as it is all done humanely and in the privacy of their homes.
A bill making its way through the state legislature would make it illegal to breed and kill dogs or cats just to eat their meat.
Cheng said he's never served that kind of meat and never will. He's owned the restaurant for 18 years. He emigrated from China and opened his place in 1995.
"I have no problem (for 18 years)," he said. "It gives me a headache. Usually it's very busy. Right now, [we] have no people coming for the lunch and the dinner."
On Dec. 9, Buffy Mason posted the Metro story to Danny Wok's Facebook page with the caption: "They got busted by the spca and when they went in the basement they had over 50 cats chained up and someone was actually butchering the cats as they came in!! Glad I never Ate from there,and I will never eat from any other Chinese restaurant!!"
Cheng later responded: "I don't have a basement!"
Mason did not return a Facebook message requesting comment.