"Dan Na", a self-proclaimed presenter on Sichuan Satellite TV, wrote on her micro blog on Aug 30 that she was attacked by a middle-aged couple because her unchained six-month-old companion dog walked up to their grandson and got kicked away by them, sparking a heated debate this week.
The photographs Dan Na, whose real surname is Deng, posted on her micro blog showed she had deep wounds on the face, suggesting she was seriously injured. She even said the wounds might leave permanent scars that could ruin her career as a TV presenter.
Some people have criticized the couple for brutally attacking Deng, while others blame Deng for not keeping her dog under leash. Some of the remarks posted on the comments space of Deng's micro blog account were so abusive that she had to delete all her micro blogs and issue an apology on Monday.
Those abusive comments amplify Deng's mistakes and seek severe punishment for her for the mistakes she committed. Deng did commit a mistake by walking her dog unleashed, but that does not give anybody the right to launch a fierce verbal attack on her.
On the other hand, it is unfair to conclude that people in general hate dogs. In early August, when several children were reported to have killed a stray dog by putting its head inside a glass jar, the same micro-bloggers were angry with the children and demanded that they punished for their cruelty.
Even in Deng's case, no one has blamed her dog. Micro-bloggers seem to agree the dog is innocent and Deng's carelessness is the cause of the sordid episode. Some dog owners even said Deng's dog is the victim of her irresponsible behavior.
The majority of dog owners are careful not to walk their dogs unleashed but still become the targets of some people who, when irritated, pour all their anger on every dog and dog-owner because they don't distinguish one dog from another.
People are usually angry with dog-owners who walk their pets without a leash and/or let them excrete on pavements and other public places. Two more deeply rooted but often neglected unacceptable behaviors are: Raising dogs without registration, and refusing to let them undergo training under professionals. Not registering your dog is an offense, and untrained dogs can cause trouble because they don't know how to keep a distance from people and how to behave with strangers.
The exact number of unregistered pet dogs in China is not known, but they definitely would add to a rather high percentage of the total. For example, when the police in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province, launched a weeklong campaign on Aug 13 to strictly enforce the regulation on raising dogs, more than 1,700 dog owners registered their pets within one week, 10 times more than the same period last year.
For the safety and convenience of dogs, dog owners, as well as other people, especially in cities, all dogs should be registered and trained.
The author Zhang Zhouxiang is a writer with China Daily.