Sat, May 25, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Taipei schools lag in pets survey

By Huang Hsin-po and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

For the fourth consecutive year, Taipei has had the fewest schools with adopted dogs or cats among the six special municipalities, the Taiwan Animal Protection Monitor Network said on Tuesday.

Nationwide, 282 elementary, junior-high or high schools, or 7.3 percent, have adopted dogs or cats, a survey conducted by the Taipei-based group showed.

New Taipei City has the most schools with adopted pets, followed by Kaohsiung and Tainan, the group said.

Beyond the six special municipalities, Taitung County ranked the highest in the number of schools with adopted dogs or cats, followed by Keelung and Hsinchu City, it said.

For the second consecutive year, no schools in Kinmen, Lienchiang or Chiayi counties have adopted dogs or cats, it said.

The survey included data from 3,881 schools nationwide obtained via telephone interviews with the schools, and from figures provided by the Ministry of Education and by city and county education bureaus and departments.

This year’s total is a slight improvement from 277 schools last year, the group said, adding that it hopes that by 2024 there will be a 30 percent increase in the number of schools that have adopted animals.

The group found that the oldest dog living on a school campus was 19-year-old Hsiao-huang (小黃) at Kaohsiung Municipal Sanmin Senior High School.

The second-oldest dog was Hsiao-hei (小黑) at New Taipei City’s Shu Lin Senior High School, also 19 years old, and the third-oldest was 18-year-old Hsiao-li (小麗) at Tainan Municipal Wunsian Junior High School, the survey showed.

The oldest pet cat at a school was 16-year-old Dudu at Taipei’s Xishan Elementary School, the survey showed.

The survey also showed that of the 304 dogs that schools have adopted, 28 were named Hsiao-hei, the most common name among the pets.

Fourteen were named Hsiao-huang and 13 were named Hsiao-pai (小白), making them the second and third most common names respectively, the group said.

“Schools generally name dogs according to their fur color,” it said.

Only two school cats shared the same name: Orange (橘子), it said.

The keys to keeping dogs and cats on campuses is to let them sleep and eat well; get rid of fleas and have them vaccinated and bathed regularly; show them love and affection; and keep them in an open and safe environment, it said.

The ministry should propose medium-term plans and targets for animal protection education and continue to fund its promotion, the group said.

It should also conduct annual surveys of animal clubs and pet populations at public and private school, it said.

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