If one of the members of your family happens to be a large canine, it’s time to put a saddle on him and pretend he’s a horse, because according to this New York Times article (VPN required), published Sunday, June 23, the Beijing police are rounding up dogs of his size class. The Times reports that large breed dogs, such as Dalmatians, collies, and ever-loved Labradors, have been banned from Beijing for a long time, “[b]ut over the last 10 days, the prohibition against such ‘large and vicious dogs,’ as they are officially branded, has been enforced with zeal, alarming pet owners who thought the size restrictions had long since lapsed.”
Apparently, neighbors have been tipping off the police, who are conducting nighttime raids and tearing beloved canine companions from the bosoms of their families. To safeguard their dogs, “the well-heeled have been bundling off their boxers and oversize poodles to kennels outside the city limits, while others who cannot afford such accommodations are keeping their pets hidden at home.” The Times tells the story of one woman who walks her large dog briefly at 2am, and another whose husky who is now allowed to relieve himself only on the apartment’s balcony.
Of course, there has been a lot of backlash, but any online criticism of these goings-on have been swiftly deleted, and one woman has been detained for stating that police kicked a golden retriever to death in front of its owner. The police later said the woman admitted to fabricating her story.
Lest you think the hefty hounds the police are snatching are unregistered, many of the dogs are in fact licensed – by the police. The ban extends to dogs taller than 13.7 inches, and these dogs, once taken by the police, cannot be reclaimed.
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons by author Armando Olivari