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May 16, 2011

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Dog law leads to rush to vets

HUNDREDS of dog owners had their pets chipped and vaccinated yesterday, as Shanghai's first law on keeping dogs came into effect.

Under the regulations, dogs must be chipped and vaccinated before they can be issued with a license. Dog licenses have been reduced in price from 2,000 yuan (US$307.8) to 500 yuan in a bid to get more pets registered.

Most of the city's 20 vaccination sites had dealt with scores of dogs by yesterday afternoon, well up on usual.

One woman, surnamed Zhao, took the unlicensed poodle she has kept for years to a vaccination center on Beijing Road W. yesterday afternoon to get a chip - which records a dog's details - before registering her pet.

Zhao said the previous fee was too high but the new charge is reasonable, so took her dog to get chipped and licensed on the day the law took effect.

Police estimate there are 140,000 licensed dogs in Shanghai and at least 600,000 without licenses.

Vaccination sites are preparing for even greater numbers of pets in the next few weeks as more people become familiar with the regulations.

Some dog owners postponed renewing their licenses and vaccinations until the cheaper license rate came in.

"I was told to wait for two months," said a dog owner Chen Yi. Her dog received its annual vaccination last March and should have received new shots two months ago. But she was advised to postpone it until the law was introduced.

Anticipating some owners will dump pets, rather than register them, local dog rescue shelters have been ungraded and a website on adopting dogs will be launched.

According to a poll by, nearly 26 percent people believe the license fee is very cheap, while 24 percent are still not satisfied. The remainder were neutral or hoped the law would increase registrations.

Under the new policy, dog owners living within the Inner Ring Road pay 500 yuan for a license. Those outside the Inner Ring Road pay 300 yuan and those live rural areas are charged 100 yuan.


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