Pet owners growl at new 'one-dog policy'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 June, 2009, 12:00am

Dog owners in Guangzhou have a week to conform with the city's unpopular 'one-dog policy', and many are simply hoping the local government's bark proves worse than its bite.

The rule was introduced 'to protect safety and maintain social order', but pet lovers say it will lead to a massacre of dogs and many owners said they would simply ignore it.

'I am not prepared to surrender either of my dogs,' said Ms Liang, a city resident. 'I will see how serious they are about the rule. If they want to check my dogs' ID, I will use a friend to apply for an extra licence.'

But not everyone is so confident. One private dog shelter said it received dozens of dogs in recent weeks from owners afraid they were violating the new rule.

Owners must register their animals with the police before the rule comes into place next Wednesday. Households caught with more than one dog have to send extras to police-run shelters. Strays will also be rounded up and sent to these shelters. Dogs in these police shelters that fail to attract a new owner within three months will be killed.

'The new rule is the same as massacring dogs,' said Mao Mao, who owns a private shelter home. 'What they are doing is forcing families to abandon their dogs ... I believe most of them will be destroyed.'

She believed the police want to lower the number of disputes caused by dogs by controlling the number each family can keep.