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Government Imposes One-Dog Policy
How could you choose which dog to keep?

Be glad you don’t live in Guangzhou, a wealthy urban area one hour north of Hong Kong.  As of July 1, each household will be limited to one dog, no exceptions. If you have multiple dogs, they will not be grandfathered in. You will have to choose. I have five dogs. How could I possibly choose which one to keep? How would I find loving homes for the other four?

This strict new law is intended to cut down on China’s rampant stray dog population and combat rabies. Last year, more than 2,000 people died after being bitten by a rabid dog.

Instead of punishing people and ultimately, their dogs, why doesn’t the government educate its citizens about responsible dog ownership? If more people spayed/neutered their dogs and contained them instead of letting them run loose,  there would be long-term benefits instead of a superficial image overhaul.


Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

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Submitted by Carolyn | June 18 2009 |

How sad! I don't know how I'd deal with that sort of "Sophie's Choice" scenario. Agonizing!

Here in Belize, stray dogs are routinely poisoned in towns and villages when it is deemed the populations are high or there is another rabies outbreak. They sometimes let you know in advance so you can contain your dog during the "procedure" (strychnine baited in meat).

Spay/neuter is not really promoted (although the struggling humane societies do try)and a lot of people don't really have the funds for it, and then culturally, people really like fertility, machismo, and puppies.

I have a cute little mixed breed stray I rescued from Belize City 7 years ago. People cannot believe I had her spayed. Even the vet that did the surgery seemed surprised and asked if I was "sure." Some people seem to think it is cruel, some can't believe I didn't want her to have puppies, and some say they wish they could have had a pup from her or that I "could have made a lot of money"(how...?).

I guess it boils down to more education and funding to get the message across.

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