Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"This Dog Is Your Friend"

Police in Beijing have begun a crackdown on unregistered and otherwise illegal dogs:

The conflict is over city regulations that limit households in eight designated districts to a single dog and also forbid people from owning large dogs like golden retrievers and huskies.

The regulations, considered misguided by many dog owners, were introduced in 2003 but have been only loosely enforced as the city's pet industry has boomed. Dogs in Beijing can now eat at a dog restaurant, be groomed at a dog boutique and swim in an outdoor dog lap pool.

Last Tuesday, though, Beijing newspapers carried a notice about the new campaign, under way since October, concerning "pet dog management work." It said households with too many dogs, or with big dogs, would have 10 days to relocate them. In essence, owners had 10 days to get rid of the dogs or the police would do it for them.

The note also promised to pay rewards to people who helped the police catch neighbors violating the dog rules.
Beijing dog owners are outraged, with some threatening "to defend their dogs at any cost."
"What kind of rules are these? I don't expect everybody to love animals. But I do want to have my rights to keep pets," said Clare Xiao, an account manager at an advertising company. She sent her larger Brittany to a kennel run by a friend and kept her Pekinese, a stray she found on the street.

"What the government is doing is just disappointing, cold and emotionless," said Xiao.
See, this is the thing about the middle class. Middle class people have certain expectations. They start talking about their "rights." Maybe you can restrict their right to participate in the political process. You can muzzle their right of free expression.

But don't mess with their dogs.

Note the sign held up by the protestor in the photo above. It reads: "This dog is your friend. He fights for freedom."

My cat Murphy would like to express her revolutionary solidarity with Chinese canine freedom fighters everywhere. Power to the pets!

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