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Action after stray survey

WITH stray animals lingering all over Shanghai, a group of local students are calling on the city to implement birth control measures on the homeless dogs and cats who fail to attract adopters.

The majority of local residents are not willing to adopt stray animals, but they are also reluctant to terminate their innocent lives, according to a survey launched by students of Shanghai Foreign Language School. "Many respondents said that they hate stray animals because their number is growing fast and they are very dirty," said Zhang Xiaohang, one of the student researchers.

Conflicts between humans and stray animals happen in the city from time to time. A man killed seven puppies in front of their mother in a local community last month. He said he killed them because he is so fed up with the dogs barking. The community in Putuo District has many stray dogs.

The seven victims were born just a week before they were killed. Some kind residents had been looking online for people interested in adopting them before the tragedy.

More than 60 percent of respondents in the survey said that they encounter stray animals frequently. Only 20 percent of locals are willing to adopt stray animals, according to the students' study based on questionnaires of nearly 800 people.

More than 40 percent of people who are not interested in adoption said that they don't have the money or time to take care of stray pets. More than 30 percent of respondents felt stray animals are dirty and carry disease. About 15 percent of people said their family members were opposed to adoption despite their personal wishes.

The remainder are scared of animals or don't care about stray animals. Moreover, the complex rules for adoption have stopped some interested pet lovers.

Zhang Yi, an official with Shanghai Small Animal Protection Association, said that society is not familiar with adoption and many people just buy a new pet in a store when they want one.

But the majority of people don't want to have stray animals put down and nearly 70 percent of respondents said that they were willing to help stray animals to find an adopter.

So Zhang and his team members advised local government to set up a volunteer team responsible for catching stray animals and sending them to adoption shelters.

Doctors will examine whether the animals contain viruses, diseases and injuries. Sick animals will receive treatment, which can prevent them from spreading the disease to other animals and humans.

Healthy or cured animals will be allowed for adoption. If the animals fail to attract adopters in one month, contraceptive surgery should be carried out on them, according to the students' scheme to control the number of rampant stray animals. The animals will then be released after being earmarked to prevent repetitive work for the shelter.


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