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Free roaming dogs cause bad name for Ishigaki City

Date Posted: 2003-10-03

Ishigaki City residents have long had a reputation of allowing their dogs run loose, and now city officials have decided to do something about it. The Ishigaki City Health and Welfare Center has sent a letter to all city dog owners reminding them that it is against city ordnances to let their pets run loose. The letter also threatened to turn the offenders to police for punishment.

City officials were happy to announce Monday that the threat has apparently worked, as complaints about free-roaming dogs and dog biting have clearly dropped. Okinawa Prefecture last year had the second worst record in the nation with 6,696 cases of stray dogs reported to officials. Of those, Ishigaki City counted for 546, the worst per capita in the nation.

Health officials cite a case of one dog that had bitten people on six occasions. The owner had been warned each time, but he still failed to leash his dog until the police paid a visit and told the man that he would be arrested next time his dog bit someone.

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