Foreigners who own dogs in China may be unaware of the various regulations in place that help keep their dogs safe.
Controversy has been stirred recently by a man in Gansu province after he tried to blackmail a dog owner for pretending to be bitten. For those who abide by leash laws in local cities, incidents like this could potentially be prevented.
This incident begs many questions for foreigners who own dogs in China. What would happen if someone tried to blackmail you if your dog attacked them, or what if someone tried to harm your dog? In Shanghai, there are strict requirements about being in public with your dog, including leash laws.
How to apply for a dog license
According to government regulations, if you have a dog, you must possess a dog license. We must remind you that not all dogs can be raised in Shanghai, so bear this in mind when choosing a new pet. The Regulations on the Management of Dog Breedingin Shanghai clearly stipulates that Shanghai prohibits individuals from raising "fighting" dogs. Listed below are all breeds which cannot be owned (click to enlarge):
Double-check and make sure the dog you are interested in isn't on this list. Otherwise, you will not be able to get a license.
1. Where can you vaccinate your dog?
Before applying for the license, you need to take your dog to an animal hospital for the rabies vaccine and a microchip. This must be done at a government-sanctioned animal hospital. The following is a list of animal hospitals in Shanghai that is authorized to inject vaccines and microchips (Click to enlarge):
2. What documents do you need?
An ID card or passport
Temporary residence permit for foreigners or residence booklet (If you are a local resident of Shanghai)
Rental agreement, with the landlord's ID card and photo, and the landlord's agreement to the terms of you owning a dog on their property (If you are not a local resident of Shanghai)
Vaccine book (provided by animal hospital)
Certificate of immunization (provided by animal hospital)
Official certificate of sterilization
3. Where to apply for the dog license?
Usually, it's the police station, but not all police stations have a pet registration service. The police can guide you to the nearest police station with the service. Call them in advance to make sure and also avoid going on the weekend.
4. Costs of license:
1). 500 RMB if you live inside the Shanghai Outer Ring Expressway (250 RMB if proof of sterilization is provided)
2). 300 RMB if you live outside the Shanghai Outer Ring Expressway (150 RMB if proof of sterilization is provided)
3). 100 RMB if you live in the suburbs
5. Other things you need to pay attention to:
1). There is no need to bring your dog with you to the police station.
2). Processing time takes 3-4 weeks, so leave your number at the police station, and once the license is ready they will call you.
3). Bring your dog license when you walk the dog in case the police want to check it.
4). Chips injected abroad may not identifiable in China, so if you bring your dog abroad from China, you may need to re-inject the chip.
5). Only one dog can be registered under one address, and your partner or roommate can't own a dog in the same household.
6). You can complete the first registration for the dog license at any time of the year, but the license must be renewed between May 1st to June 30th exclusively.
6. What happens if you don't apply for a dog license?
If you don’t have a license, you technically can't own a dog in Shanghai. Anyone can take your dog from you – including the police – and you’d have no legal recourse for getting them back. Of course, this usually doesn’t happen, but it can. If you have a neighbor that hates you or your dog, they can call the police, who are required to respond and remove your dog if they're not registered.
How to get a dog in Shanghai
1. Dogs are available for purchase at local pet stores in Shanghai. Go to pet stores that are accredited and provide information regarding vaccines and can teach you how to properly handle your dog.
2. For those who are interested in adopting a dog, there are several ways to find an adorable pup through the internet.
a. Looking for adoption information in WeChat articles
Begin by typing keywords such as Shanghai (上海) and lingyang (领养).
You will see a lot of adoption information in your results section. Scan the QR code in the article and you can begin speaking with the owner of the pet.
b. There are also many animal WeChat groups in Shanghai. Members of these groups often share information about pets available for adoption.
3. Aside from these, social media pages like Weibo and Douban publish adoption info as well.
Good places to walk your dog in Shanghai
These are some of the most popular places for dog owners in Shanghai. Many dog owners visit these locations on weekends.
1. Shanghai Yuehu Sculpture Park
Address: Linmeng New Road, Songjiang District, Shanghai
Tickets: Adult: 120RMB, Pets: 30RMB (Dog license is needed)