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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Pet stores struggle to cope with dogs abandoned

By Zhou Wenting (China Daily)

09:23, February 06, 2012

A worker cares for dogs that are boarding at a "pet hotel" in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province, on Jan 25. Boarding services for pets were busy around the Spring Festival as many people planned to travel during the week-long holiday. (China Daily / Wang Jiankang)

SHANGHAI-A 3-year-old Doberman Pinscher has been waiting for its owner for three weeks in a pet shop , where it was taken for a bath in mid-January, to be claimed on the following day.

Li Haigang, shopkeeper of Little Xinba Pet Store in the city's Songjiang district, has phoned the dog's owner a dozen times, but his calls haven't been answered after the owner said the first time that he was too busy.

"It might be another poor dog abandoned by its owner," Li said.

Boarding services for pets were busy before Spring Festival, when many dog owners left to travel at home or overseas. But some people never come back for their dogs, especially bigger ones, turning some pet shops into "dog shelters".

Li said many of his peers in the industry have similar problems.

"Some pet owners bring their dogs to pet shops for baths or boarding services before the holiday, but shop managers later find that the contact phone number on the foster care agreement was fake," Li said.

"Most deserted pets are old and sick, or not good-looking. Some were given up because their owners no longer live in the city," he added.

Wang Fang, a worker in a pet shop in Shanghai's Huangpu district, said that more than a dozen dogs have been deserted in the shop since it was established four years ago. Large dogs are the most often abandoned.

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