Doan Ngoc Hai, who is famous for leading the ‘sidewalk clearing’ campaign in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, has recently initiated an effort to deal with free-ranging dogs in order to ensure traffic safety and protect the urban landscape and environment.
Hai, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee in District 1, has called on leaders of the district’s ten wards to start taking steps to solve the problem in the city center, online newspaper VnExpress reported.
Accordingly, competent authorities will first heighten awareness among local residents of compulsory requirements of raising canines as pets, as well as rules when taking them to a public area.
From August 14, those who violate such regulations will be sternly punished.
In accordance with Decree No. 90/2017, which took effect late last year, dog owners are subject to a fine between VND600,000 (US$26.36) and VND800,000 ($35.14) for letting their pets out without a leash or muzzle.
If the canines are yet to be given rabies vaccination, the penalty will be raised to VND1.6 million ($69.36).
Dogs that wander off their owners' property will be collected by local authorities and impounded at 252 Ly Chinh Thang Street in District 3, and the owners must pay the fine within 72 hours.
|Doan Ngoc Hai gestures during a sidewalk crackdown in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Despite the regulations, local authorities have not been assertive when it comes to enforcing them.
The team specializing in capturing stray dogs under the municipal veterinary department only performed their job following reports of local residents.
Many owners have also resisted aggressively when their pets were seized by authorities.
Doan Ngoc Hai, a.k.a Captain Sidewalk, first started his ‘sidewalk reclamation’ effort in District 1 in January 2017 with a series of assertive measures.
A year later, he tendered his resignation from all positions for failing to prevent the problem from repeating, but retracted the letter in May to resume his campaign.
In June, he started taking measures to prevent illegal fishing along the iconic Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal, as such activity can have negative effects on water quality.