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December 1, 2011

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Mastiff bites put 7 people in hospital

SEVEN people in the city's suburban Songjiang District were attacked by a Tibetan mastiff yesterday morning after the dog escaped from its cage and rushed to the street, police said.

The injured, three men and four women, were in stable condition in the hospital. The mastiff, owned by a gardening company, was caught by the police. The mastiff had been registered by city authorities and vaccinated, police said. It was normally locked in its cage but somehow broke out yesterday morning.

The dog was sent to the district's dog administration authority, police said. Its owner, not identified, should take full responsibility and compensate the injured, police said.

The attack happened around 6:25am when the dog appeared on Yongfeng Highway in the Xiaokunshan area of the district and began to chase and bite people, police said.

Seven pedestrians were bitten in the hands and legs.

All were rushed to a hospital, and four were given rabies vaccine and hospitalized while the other three received stitches and later went back home, police said.

"The dog suddenly rushed out and jumped as high as I am at me," said a middle-aged woman who was bitten in the left hand while trying to protect her body.

Police captured the dog and found the gardening company that raised the ferocious canine in an iron cage by 7am. Company officials said they raised the dog for guarding their garden and plants.

It was the second case of a dog attacking residents in the city in two days. On Tuesday an 83-year-old woman was attacked and killed by an unlicensed dog about 1pm in Jinze Town, Qingpu District.

Police said the woman, surnamed Wang, was bitten on her knees and ankles. She was pronounced dead-on-arrival due to excessive blood loss after a fatal bite to her artery, said the hospital.

According to the city's new law on dog keeping adopted on May 15, a dog that attacks people twice or attacks more than two people at one time shall be taken away by police and its owner's dog-keeping permit shall be revoked.

Six people had died of rabies in the city as of September, a slight rise from the previous three years. The trend was not surprising, given the increasing number of dogs and residents' failure to license and vaccinate their pets, the Shanghai Health Bureau said in September.

In 2009, police dealt with nearly 140,000 reports of people being bitten by unlicensed dogs, compared to 100,000 such reports in 2006.

Over the last three years, nearly 120,000 people have gone to hospitals after being bitten by dogs in Shanghai.

Most residents with dogs neither apply for licenses nor vaccinate them. The city has an estimated 750,000 pet dogs, but only about 140,000 were licensed, according to the earlier statistics.

According to the health bureau, no one who died from rabies in recent years visited a doctor immediately after being bitten by a dog.


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