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January 31, 2011

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Home » Metro » Society

'One-dog policy' can't be backdated, say locals

PET owners have urged the city government to allow them to keep all the dogs they currently own, ahead of any "one-dog policy."

People who own two or more dogs fear some of their pets could be taken away, under a draft pet management policy stipulating that each household in some areas can have only one dog.

At a public hearing at city government offices yesterday, residents argued that authorities should set a date when the policy would apply from, and not make it retrospective.

Some dog owners vowed to keep their pets, regardless of what was finally decided.

"I won't give away any of my dogs, no matter what the result," said Kong Xiaoming, a local resident who has two dogs. Kong said she has been raising dogs for 10 years and has "set up tight bonds with them."

"They are part of the family," she explained.

Meanwhile, Kang Jinyu, who spends tens of thousands of yuan each year saving abandoned dogs, said the numbers each household can own should not be limited.

"True dog lovers can take care of their pets, regardless of the numbers," said Kang.

However, for others unlimited dog numbers would lead to problems.

Lu Baomei said the sheer number of the dogs "would make people scared," and told how an old man in her community was injured when he fell over after four dogs suddenly rushed at him.

Other locals said dogs barking in their neighborhoods are sometimes a nuisance.

A strict one-dog policy would apply to residents in downtown areas and part of the suburbs, including Songjiang and Jiading, new towns such as Lingang, industrial parks and economic development parks.

The draft proposes reducing the annual pet management fee for pet owners who have their animals sterilized.

There are about 140,000 licensed dogs in Shanghai, but authorities estimate that there are eight times as many unlicensed canines.


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