The Shimao Riviera residential compound at Lujiazui in Pudong was raided by local authorities in search for dogs yesterday seemingly in response to increasing tensions between dog-owners and other residents.
According to reports from residents, police arrived at the compound with dog-catchers and trucks, searching door to door. Several unlicensed dogs were taken away from their owners in a show of force. All but one of the dogs was returned back to their owners today. Although there has not been an official statement regarding the round-up, it is speculated that tensions between dog-owners and other residents instigated the search.
This is not the first animal welfare incident at Shimao, cat traps have been previously been reported at the complex within Shanghai’s expat community. However, Shimao’s management has apparently tried to reassure concerned residents that registered dogs may now walk leashed without being taken away.
Dog culls are not unheard of in Beijing and other lower-tier Chinese cities. However, as Lee-Anne Armstrong, Executive Director of Second Chance Animal Aid (SCAA) told Shanghaiist, “This is the first such raid we’ve ever heard of in Shanghai – especially at such a high profile apartment compound … Shanghai loses a lot of credibility in positioning itself as an international city when residents, leading property developers, and local authorities engage in this kind of behavior. SCAA still believes this city is capable of doing better and setting a positive example going forward.”
Armstrong urges all pet owners in Shanghai to license their animals. “Dog owners should indeed follow the regulations, whether they feel they are too restrictive or not,” she said. “The dog management laws were changed a couple years ago and the yearly license fee greatly reduced to RMB500 within the ring road in Puxi and less outside that. There is also a reward to dog owners who spay or neuter their pet – 50% reduction in the license fees.”
By Maea Lenei Buhre