The potential danger from unleashed and unmuzzled dogs wandering around public areas in Hanoi has become a concern to many people.
Dogs are seen in Quang An, Tay Ho district, Hanoi.
There have been many tragic cases in Hanoi and across Vietnam that free-ranging dogs attacked people, causing serious consequences. Earlier this month, a seven-year-old boy in the northern Vietnamese province of Hung Yen was attacked by a pack of unleashed dog and died from severe wounds.
Despite the risks, many owners still allow their canine companions to roam on streets without leashes or muzzles because they simply think that their dogs are friendly without causing any harm to people.
According to statistics from Hanoi’s Animal Health Department, Hanoi has the highest population of dogs in Vietnam, totaling around 493,000. In 2018, in the capital city, three people died due to rabies and about 10,000 people sought preventive treatment for dog bites.
Government Decree 90/2017 stipulates owners of stray dogs, dogs without collars or muzzles wandering are fined between VND 600,000 and VND800,000 (US$25.7-US$34.3). Within 72 hours, if the owners don't pay fine, the dogs may be put down.
At the end of November 2018, some areas in Thanh Xuan district, Hanoi hired a group of dogcatchers to round up stray dogs. According to Mai Thi Lan Huong, head of the district's veterinary center, this model is expected to expand in May 2019. "The dogcatchers groups are supported by many local residents. Therefore, the number of stray dogs has been reduced significantly," Huong told VnExpress.