A number of Hsinchu City councilors urged the city government to step up public protection following reports that a five-year-old girl was recently attacked by stray dogs.
They said it was not the first time that dogs have attacked children and that it might not be the last.
The girl, surnamed Wang (王), was allegedly attacked by six stray dogs on Sunday and dragged for 2m along a road in less than a minute. She was rescued in time by her father, who heard her cries for help.
According to the parents, the girl was returning from the nearby Chituqi Park when a stray rushed at her. When she turned to run, she was quickly surrounded by other stray dogs nearby.
She was dragged and bitten by three of the dogs, with the other three joining in later on, her parents said.
Her father, who was less than 50m away, heard her cries and rushed over to drive the dogs away.
However, the girl had already suffered deep bites on her thighs and calves, with noticeable injuries.
The Wangs said their daughter was too young to receive a tetanus vaccine. The wounds can only be treated with anti-inflammatory shots and must be cleaned twice a day to prevent infection.
The family called on the Hsinchu City Government to catch the strays, saying the girl was severely traumatized by the incident.
They said their daughter now starts shaking whenever she sees a dog and is also afraid of hearing anything related to dogs.
Other people in the city have also complained about stray dogs.
According to parking fee collectors, the city has a large number of stray dogs, with some chasing not only them, but also people on scooters and bicycles.
Hsinchu City Mayor Hsu Ming-tsai (許明財) has apologized to the girl and her family and has ordered the dog squad to catch the culprits.
One of the dogs was caught on Wednesday, but the other five have proved elusive.
Hsinchu City Councilor Hsieh Wen-chin (謝文進) said the city government should be more aggressive and capture the rest so that people could walk the streets without fear.
In related news, the city government’s Department of Economical Development said it usually puts up a 12-day notice for adoption for captured strays. Unless the strays are sickly, they are usually kept at the pound and available for adoption, it said.