Dog capture shouldn't target puppies: SPCA
By Joy Lee, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taiwan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) issued a statement yesterday urging the Taichung government to evaluate its dog capture methods, as most being caught are harmless puppies and not those that attack people.
January 12, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
The Taichung government kicked off a crackdown on Thursday to sweep through the city and catch stray dogs that are sick or likely to attack residents, according to a top city official.
The move comes after a 2-year-old boy was seriously injured after being attacked in late December by more than 10 wild dogs on the city's famous Tanyashen Biking Trail, Deputy Mayor Hsiao Jia-chi said.
Taiwan SPCA said that the capture of homeless dogs should be based on people's statements on which dog are aggressive. Mass, indiscriminate captures are inhumane and will not solve the problem, the group said.
The Taichung government did not evaluate the plan to catch homeless dogs and have ended up catching small animals that are harmless — all as a reflex politically motivated response to people's demands, the Taiwan SPCA statement said.
According to statistics from the Animal Protection Policy Watch Alliance, 127,710 dogs were captured in 2009, 42,819 of which them had owners. Other data showed that only 0.18 percent of dogs that were captured between 2007 and 2010 had harmed people.
The Taiwan SPCA said that the issue about homeless dogs is the result of pet abandonment. The government should focus on how to regulate irresponsible pet owners, which would be a more effective way to solve issue regarding homeless dogs.
Hsiao said on Thursday that catching homeless dogs that are sick or liable to attack people doesn't run counter to the government's policy of allowing people to walk their dogs in public parks.
He said that the newly amended statute governing the management of parks in Taichung allows people to walk their pet dogs as long as the animals are on a leash or wearing face guards.