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Shanghai launches website on guide dogs

By Zhang Kun (China Daily)

09:00, November 14, 2011

Xie Danling, a 26-year-old blind woman in Shanghai, kisses her guide dog Yile, on March 27. (Photo/China Daily)

Fourteen seeing-eye dogs are already working in Shanghai, and in May, the city issued a new amendment to the regulation on dog administration, permitting guide dogs to accompany their owners on board public transport.

"Still, few people know about it, and we've launched the website to provide information and knowledge about guide dogs," said a spokeswomen surnamed Zhu, from Shanghai Disabled-Aid Resource Center, which is in charge of the website, which was launched on Nov 10.

Although Shanghai metro and bus companies received official notification about the change in May, people with guide dogs have still encountered some difficulties trying to use public transport.

"It's the other passengers who get annoyed," Zhu said, "they complain to the driver: 'How come a dog can take the bus?' Some people are afraid of dogs and all the guide dogs are Labradors, which is quite a large breed, and they weigh between 27 and 34 kilograms."

But she said that when people see the dogs sitting obediently by their owners, "most people realize seeing-eye dogs behave well and never bark or bite."

"That's why it's particularly important to educate the public about seeing-eye dogs," she said.

Zhu and her colleagues will also remind the applicants about potential opposition for a dog from their employers.

Zhu suggested that other dog owners also should show consideration to those with guide dogs and ideally should keep their pets on a lead.

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