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June 29, 2011

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It's a dog's world for few pets

WORRIED about the future of their pet dogs that are on a blacklist defined by the city's new dog-raising law, some owners are moving their pets to suburban homes of their friends.

The new dog-raising regulation, which took effect on May 15, bans 23 breeds of canines considered too fierce and threatening to public safety. They include the Tibetan mastiff, Rottweiler, bulldog and Dogue de Bordeaux.

Police said they are now setting up dog shelters across town to help facilitate the new regulation. The shelters will be used to "cope with" future strays and unlicensed dogs.

"But we should be told what will happen to the dogs after they are taken to the shelters," said Hui Hui, a lead volunteer with JAR, a local animal rescue association which frequently holds stray adoptions among the expatriate community.

Police haven't so far said what they'll do with the banned dogs.

The uncertainty has intensified fear among the affected dog owners and some are taking action.

Some owners of bulldogs said they have moved their dogs to suburban areas. They hoped slacker supervision on the outskirts would save their pets. When police can provide a solution that ensures the safety of their pets, they will bring them back.

An owner of a German Shepherd, also on the banned list, said he has asked a factory to apply for a working dog license for his pet. This breed is widely used as patrol dogs. He's still waiting to see if this will work.

Police had assigned the first month following the enactment of the law in mid-May to renew identifications of already licensed pet dogs. And starting last weekend, owners of unlicensed canines are supposed to go to police stations to apply for the licenses, police said.

The grace period would last for several months before the supervision of unlicensed dogs turns tougher, said insiders from the urban management authority that assists police in canine administration affairs.


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