Dog ownership in this city is always a mixed bag, thanks to seemingly crazy ideas the government has against canine companionship. Honestly, it’s like the person making the rules has never owned a dog, and in fact hates them tremendously, him or herself. Case in point: new draft legislation that lowers the registration fee BUT forces you to only be allowed to own one dog at a time.
First, the good news. Regulators are finally thinking of lowering the exorbitant prices of dog license registrations. The fact that registering a dog costs anywhere between 1000RMB to 2000RMB annually has been cited as the number one reason most people in Shanghai keep their dogs unlicensed. The threshold may be cut to about 300RMB, which is still a little pricey, but more within the realm of reason.
According to ifeng, the 300RMB mark takes into account the cost of certification, a rabies vaccination and the RFID chip they’ll be inserting into your pup for identification purposes. That’s understandable. Unfortunately, the sanity of the proposed rules end there.
The regulations also put limits on what kind of dogs you’re allowed to keep in the city. Tibetan Mastiffs are a no-no (sorry, China’s uber-rich), as are English Bulldogs and Beauceron Wolfdogs.
And there are some places you are absolutely not allowed to take your dog. Most are fair enough: schools, hospitals, stadiums, museums, libraries, theaters, and onto public transport. That’s pretty regular in most countries. However, there’s also a stipulation regarding avoiding peak hours on stairs and elevators. Oh, and not bringing them around elderly, disabled, pregnant women and children… because the one thing you should know about Rover: he smells weakness and is just waiting to attack.
But the most ridiculous part of the new regulations is this: now every household is only allowed to have one dog. If your dog has puppies, they must be given away or sold to adoption agencies by the time they are three-months old.
Why? Because, government-cited statistics say that dog attack incidents number around 100,000 each year. In 2009, apparently 139,592 dog-inflicted wounds were reported. Plus, barking is a nuisance and people not picking up their dog poop adversely affects the city’s appearance and environmental sanitation. All of this, naturally, will be ameliorated if every family only owns one pup… instead of maybe implementing better education on how to raise a dog plus enforced fines for public littering.
We’re not the only people to be baffled by this strange addendum. Xinmin currently has a poll asking what people think about the one-dog policy, pointing out that if you can’t find any adopters and the shelters are full, where would the puppies go?