Shanghai introduces one-pooch policy to reduce number of strays

Monday, 16th May 2011

Pet lovers in Shanghai may need less dog food in the future after the city's authorities initiated a one-dog policy, similar to the one-child policy that has been in effect across parts of the Chinese population.

Although owning dogs was banned under the rule of Mao Zedong as a bourgeois pastime, it has become an incredibly popular activity among middle-class families in China during recent years, Reuters reports.

However, growing concern over the number of unregistered dogs in Shanghai – there has been a spike in the number of strays as dog-owning becomes the norm – has led to city officials introducing the 'one-pooch policy'.

The move has led to outcry among pet owners, with one resident Guo Huiying telling the news provider: "I have two dogs. The new policy says each family can only have one dog, but we have been living together for five years.

"They are family to me, I cannot just give one of them up. I am thinking about keeping one of them at my relative's house."

While pet owners in China are fretting about how to protect their pooches from the prohibitive policy, dog lovers in Japan are letting their animal friends take an even greater role in their lives.

According to one hotel in Tokyo, there is a growing trend for dogs to be counted as wedding witnesses in marriage ceremonies, the Daily Telegraph reports.