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March 23, 2011

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Home » Metro » Society

Pets running wild turn community into 'zoo'

A SUBURBAN community is being turned into a "zoo" with hundreds of cats and unlicensed dogs roaming free, creating mess and disturbance, residents complained yesterday.

People living in the complex on Lancheng Road in the Pudong New Area said whenever they leave their homes they are faced with packs of dogs barking, jumping up at them and fouling common areas.

"More dogs than human beings gather at the complex's exercise equipment early in the morning," said one elderly resident plagued by the pets. "What madness is that?"

A 65-year-old resident, surnamed Feng, said the reason pets sometimes outnumber humans is because many lonely elderly people live in the community - also nicknamed "Shanghai Dog Complex" - and regard their pets as family. Many residents own several animals, but lacking space at home let them live outside, said Feng.

In the community of 1,300 households, the neighborhood committee says there are 200 pets - but residents believe the population exceeds 400.

Cleaners complain about the animals fouling in public areas, while many parents are reluctant to let their children play outside, fearful they could be bitten. Elderly residents are afraid when huge dogs leap up at them, even if they are usually just being friendly.

Attempts to remove unlicensed animals were abandoned after complaints from residents, said the director of the neighborhood committee, surnamed Dai.

While the city is introducing a "one-dog" policy in May to tackle the problem of unlicensed animals, Dai said there was little that could be done at the moment. "The owners are very attached to them and would defend their pets with their lives," he said.

A 55-year-old dog owner, surnamed Chen, agreed with this. "I apologize for all the troubles brought by the animals, but please don't take my dog away. It's all I have."


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