In China, dog owners told to use leash, control pets

BEIJING (China Daily/ANN) - A point system for regulating pet dogs has reduced complaints about dogs biting or otherwise disturbing people by 65% in 2017 from the previous year in Jinan, Shandong province, according to the social security branch of the Jinan police.

“Thanks to the regulations, complaints about unleashed dogs also went down by 43% in 2017 from 2016,” Chen Zhao of the Jinan police bureau said on Tuesday.

The point system, introduced in January 2017, targets dog owners who walk their pets without a leash and fail to carry a proper certificate.

Owners that reach 12 points are required to undergo training related to pet ownership and will have their animals temporarily confiscated.

People whose dogs disturb others’ lives will have three points added for a first offense and six points for a second offense.

Owners can do various activities to remove points as well.

Upon reaching 12 points, or a third offense, the owner must complete a training program on keeping dogs.

The training involves going to a designated place to study the regulations and take a test.

During the past 18 months, 1,430 dog owners were fined. Of those, 122 had 12 points deducted and went to study dog-keeping regulations.

The test content includes basic questions about keeping a dog, such as how long the leash must be and the valid length of a license, said Li Qiang of the Tianqiao district branch of the Jinan police.

Once the police receive a complaint about a dog disturbance, Chen said, officers will carry out a field investigation that includes a visit to at least three families, including the one that made the complaint.

A Jinan resident surnamed Wang lost six points from March to July 2017 for walking his dog without a leash.

“After being handed six points, I was so concerned about my dog being confiscated that I used a leash every time after that,” he said.

Jinan is not the only city with a point system.

Shaoxing in Zhejiang province applied the system in 2016.

One of the new things about the Jinan system is that dog owners can earn reward points by working as volunteers at a protection center for small animals and spreading knowledge on legally keeping dogs.

Government can carry out some rules to regulate people’s behaviors, but it’s not necessary to be very specific, such as regulating where and when dog owners walk their dogs, Guan Xinping, a professor of the Social Construction and Management School of Nankai University, was quoted as saying by Chinanews.com.

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