Public hearings are becoming more and more a part of our daily lives, but who would have thought that getting a dog would require one?

Residents from the downtown Luwan District in Shanghai are beginning to understand this concept as a new ordinance will require they attend a “dog license hearing” with their neighbors if they wish to keep a dog in their homes.


Launched for the sake of neighborhood amity, the district’s new pilot program will require any home desiring to own a dog to get a nod of approval from five of that household’s nearest neighbors. If anyone dissents, no dog’s license will be granted and any pets that are unlicensed will be removed from the household, in question.

This “purge and remove” policy takes effect as soon as a resident applies for a dog license. The request is then sent to the neighborhood committee, which then arranges for a hearing between the applicant and their five nearest neighbors who will then vote on the issue after the applicant gives a statement.

The new regulations come in the wake of a recent survey conducted by the Shanghai Statistics Bureau, which claimed that pets urinating and defecating in public were major causes of annoyance for local families.

The way the law now stands, a dog owner can receive a license after gathering five signatures from neighbors. Now Luwan District is expanding that regulation to include a gathering of neighbors and the opportunity to sit together, discuss and vote to approve or reject a license application.

“It’s a good way to reduce future conflicts caused by pet dogs,” said Chen Mingjun, director of the Luwan District branch of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

Earlier this year, the district released additional rules requiring those who were granted dog licenses to have their pets vaccinated, clean up after them, use a leash, avoid walking them during rush hours and control their barking at night.

All of that appears to be pretty reasonable, but no one really knows how the dogs feel about this?

What do YOU think?

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M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry ( feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.