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A dog in bear's clothing

'Half-panda, half-dog hybrids': Italian circus owner charged with abuse, fraud after passing off dogs as pandas

If it looks like a panda, and acts like a panda, it could just be a Chow-Chow dog with dyed fur.

A circus owner in Italy was charging customers to pose for pictures with two dogs, whose fur had been dyed black and white. The circus owner told suspicious visitors that the "pandas" were "half-panda, half-dog hybrids," as UPI colorfully puts it.

Now the owner is facing charges of animal abuse and defrauding customers, UPI reports. There could also be more charges because of false information on the animals' passports.

Police seized the dogs, a male and female, and say they're healthy, except for watery eyes that are likely just the result of too many camera flashes.