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Guangzhou residents rush to register their dogs

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-25 07:56

Guangzhou has issued more than 8,000 dogs licenses in the past month during a push to get owners to register their pets.

The figure was eight times more than an ordinary month before the city's public security and urban management authorities launched their licensing campaign in mid-August.

Urban patrol officers, known as chengguan, and police officers expanded patrols in major housing estates, parks, squares and other public places to see whether the owners had obtained or applied for dog licenses, according to the Guangzhou public security bureau.

Those who had not registered their dogs were ordered to apply for a license within three days or face fines of up to 2,000 yuan ($303) if they are caught a second time, as provided by city rules.

In addition to keeping their pets on a leash, dog owners are required to clean up the animals' waste.

The city government has empowered 250 agencies - mostly veterinary clinics and pet stores - citywide to issue dog licenses in recent months.

A clinic owner surnamed Chen in Tianhe district said his clinic now issues licenses for five or six dogs a day, compared with that many in a month in previous years.

"Poor awareness of the law, plus lax enforcement, have been blamed for the large number of residents who failed to register their dogs in the city in previous years," Chen said. "In the past, I saw few officers patrolling in public places to check up on dog registrations."

A white-collar worker surnamed Huang said she was issued a license for her pet dog after registering the animal at a nearby pet clinic last week.

"I immediately registered my pet after hearing through WeChat that the city had launched a campaign to fight illegal dog raising," she said. "Relevant departments should further promote legal dog raising."

The application procedure for a license is simple. The owner pays the annual fee, after which an written application is required. Vaccination of the animal is required. The application must include a photograph of the dog. The license is sent to the owner within one or two weeks, after police approval.

In addition to basic information about the dog - date of birth, health condition and vaccination history - the blue license includes data about the owner.

The fee for registering a dog is 500 yuan in Guangzhou for the first year, and 300 yuan per year from the second year onward.

To better serve dog owners, police are considering online services for applications and registrations in the near future. Residents would be able to register their pets and pay annual fees through WeChat or another online platform.

According to Peng Peng, vice-chairman of the experts committee of the Guangdong-based South Nongovernmental Think-Tank, those who fail to register their dogs are in violation of the law and regulations.

"The fight against illegal dog raising in Guangzhou helps further improve the management of the city," he said.

Gu Caijuan contributed to this story.

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