Dog control

18 Jul

I have mentioned in a previous post how mad Shanghainese are about their dogs (see link to Bésame mucho…). They definitely are no dog eaters. They pamper them and are extremely conscious about their wellbeing. In winter, they make them wear warm outfits as well as shoes. In summer, they change the warm clothes for lace ones. They also like to accessorise them: dogs get to wear earrings, have their hair died (more than one colour please), as well as fake colour nails put on their paws! On my street, there’s an especially dedicated beauty parlour for dogs. No other pets allowed. It’s really amazing and I for one certainly have a blast witnessing all of this and trying to capture it with my camera.

Dog beauty parlour on Taixing Road

Shoes and lace!

Well groomed

Her name was Wang Wang

The trouble is that their love for dogs has become excessive. And any phenomenon or habit that starts to be adopted by too many people in Shanghai or China is likely to become problematic for society at large, just because of the sheer mass of people in this city (23 million officially, 30 million I heard if you factor in all the “clandestine” dwellers, foreigners included) and the country. So dogs have become a problem in Shanghai. There are simply too many in the city and this is posing real hygiene problems on the streets due to all the dog shit. I have seen many Chinese picking up their dog’s poop from the pavement but I don’t think the majority of dog owners do it. As in Paris, you have to be very careful when walking in residential neighbourhoods. I’ve unfortunately stepped at least once in dog shit too.

Dog shit all over

To address the problem, in 2011, the municipality of Shanghai adopted the single dog policy which, as its name indicates, limits the ownership of dogs to one per family. According to the French newspaper Libération, in 2010, the number of dogs in the city had reached 800,000, only 25% of which were licensed. Other sources quote other figures. Today there must be at least 1 million. Prior to this law, if you owned more than one dog and if they were all duly licensed, you could keep them. In Guangzhou however, you had to get rid of all your dogs but one.

If they’ve done it for kids over 30 years ago, I personally don’t find it that shocking when it comes to pets. However, I did find it hilarious that they duplicated the single child’s policy for dogs! You can see that, in their own way, they’re equally spoilt. Children are dubbed “little emperors”, I don’t know if dogs have a nickname too. I also wondered about the fairness of the policy. Had they put in too many restrictions regarding dog licensing and health monitoring, the policies would’ve been criticised as being in favour of rich people who would be the only ones to afford to have a dog. With the single dog policy, everybody’s entitled to one toy.

Walking the dogs in a pram!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: