Tue, Nov 16, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Pet owners warned to check permits

By Flora Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Staff at a pet hotel in Kaohsiung yesterday attend to a pet dog. The city told pet owners to make sure that they only entrust their pets to licensed businesses.

PHOTO: KE YU-HAO, TAIPEI TIMES

The Kaohsiung City Government yesterday reminded residents seeking a temporary residence for their pets when they leave town to make sure they choose pet hotels that hold legal operating permits to avoid running foul of the law.

Economic Development Bureau Director-General Liu Hsin-cheng (劉馨正) told reporters the bureau had recently issued its first fine — NT$50,000 — against a well-known pet hotel that was operating without a permit.

Liu said owners who needed to leave their pets at a pet hotel often failed to ascertain whether the hotel has a legitimate operating permit.

“Article 22 of the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法) requires that dog breeders or vendors or those who operate pet hotels obtain a legal permit,” Liu said.

Most of the public and businesspeople are aware that it is illegal to breed or sell dogs without a permit, but they have no idea that operating permits are also mandatory for pet hotels, Liu said.

“Therefore, it is illegal to run a private breeding dog house or provide family-style boarding services for dogs [without a permit],” Liu said.

Chu Chia-te (朱家德), director of the Kaohsiung Municipal Institute for Animal Health, said owners of pet hotels should also publicize the serial number of their operating permits when running advertisements.

Businesses that fail to follow regulations can be fined between NT$5,000 and NT$75,000, Chu said.

Sites advertising pet boarding services are becoming increasingly common on the Internet.

The National Taiwan University-run Professional Technology Temple, the nation’s largest university bulletin board system, even has a discussion board for people looking for such services.

Some service providers also run advertisements on online bidding Web sites such as Yahoo, providing family-style, cage-free boarding services at the cost of NT$100 per day.

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