They’ve got a bone to pick. A pack of dog-identifying humans has prompted calls for “animal control” after footage of their Berlin meet-up went viral.
An estimated 1,000 people who prefer to be recognized as not humans, but canines, organized a gathering at the Berlin Potsamer Platz railroad station in Germany, communicating only by howling or barking at one another.
Online, critics jeered at the trans-species folk, some offering to put the herd’s “canine instincts” to the test: “Just abandon them in the Siberian tundra and let them survive with their canine instincts.”
“I don’t see anyone smelling the tail of others.” “Call animal control and give them their rabies doses.” “Can you imagine when they all have to defecate?” “But if they identify as dogs, why do they put on masks?”
The unorthodox canine convention follows the viral sensation of Toco the human collie — a man located in Japan who is fulfilling his life-long dream of becoming a pooch after purchasing a $14,000 hyperrealistic suit.
In a previous interview with The Post, Toco revealed he hoped to meet others with canine aspirations. “I think it would be great if something like this existed,” said Toco, who has been dubbed a “therian.” “I would like to meet them.”
Experts have called for a differentiation between “therians,” people who “identify as a creature other than human,” and “furries,” individuals who enjoy cosplaying in animal suits.”
For example, some therians, short for “therianthrope,” might “believe that they are a cat soul reincarnated into a human body,” Dr. Elizabeth Fein, an associate professor of psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, previously told The Post.
“Some furries are therians, and some therians are furries, but they are two distinct groups,” she noted. Other internet-famous hound-human hybrids include Tom Peters, a Brit who previously revealed he identified as a Dalmatian, and Toru Ueda, a Tokyo engineer who spent $23,000 on a custom wolf suit.
“When I wear my costume I feel I’m no longer human,” Ueda, 32, previously told the UK Times. “I’m free of human relationships. All kinds of troubles, related to work and other things — I can forget about them.”
But animal-like behavior has been fetishized as a BDSM kink known as “puppy play,” where participants, usually men, are equipped with muzzles, collars or leashes and behave like a dog.