I got this all second hand from someone who doesn’t speak perfect Chinese, but here are the details as I was told them:
There was a dog that had been trapped/living in the center divider on the No.2 freeway near Gaoxiung for over 2 years! The dog’s predicament was widely known and people would stop to feed it etc. and it even became locally “famous” and made the news… Recently some group decided to free the dog and after a somewhat bungled rescue, the dog is out of the freeway divider, but now the city/govt. is taking legal actions against the group who freed the dog, claiming they endangered the public using the freeway during the rescue and that since they rescued it, they must be responsible for it being there in the first place!.. They are now facing some exorbitant fine, and being punished for rescuing the dog! (ie. making the local animal welfare dept. look bad on the TV)…
I really hope this is all half truths and speculation, but I was told this has been on the TV news and is widely known around Gaoxiung… Does anyone know anything about this?.. bobpine, have you heard anything?.. what sickens me is that the whole story sounds so “typically Taiwanese” that is seems it could very likely be true…
It’s true enough. The authorities felt that people chasing a dog around on the freeway with a tranquillizer rifle were putting themselves, the dog and drivers at unneccessary risk. I didn’t know they were actually taking action against the group, though.
It’s really amazing that, for whatever reason the dog got there originally, people felt bad for it and started feeding it with their leftovers. The traffic in that area moves slowly, so they’d just toss food out their windows.
The dog usually sat up on the road divider. And was only bothered by people who wanted to help it.
I didn’t catch any of that news, but I saw the story on TV last weekend, prior to the rescue.
So, I have no idea what happened during the rescue, but I could definitely imagine facts where it WOULD be reasonable to impose an exorbitant fine on the rescuers. If they went out and put cones in the middle of the highway, or were running around with cars whizzing past as they tried to grab the dog, or net it, or shoot darts at it, or whatever, and there was a serious possibility the dog or a person could dart in front of a car, or a car might swerve or apply the brakes suddenly, then, hell yea, the govt should punish them.
It’s one thing if your car breaks down on the highway and you have to pull over and get help. But it’s another to intentionally go out there and risk killing various innocent people driving past because one has decided to “rescue” a dog that lived there for 2 years.
As I said, I don’t know the facts, so I don’t know if the punishment was reasonable or not, but it definitely could have been. Ordinary citizens aren’t supposed to stop or divert traffic in such situations; incompetent as Taiwan’s authorities may be, it’s their job, not some private do-gooders.
thanks for the input/varification, sorry to hear that it’s true mind you…
Sure, agreed, but that almost the point… 2 years down the line you’d think the govt. people responsible would have managed to come up with a plan, the dog being there, and coming and going as it pleased as sandman pointed out, posed a significant danger both to the dog and to thousands of high speed freeway users… if after 2 years everyone being aware of the dog being there it has to come down to private “samaritans” to come in and do the govt’s work, then the govt. turns around and says “you didn’t do it properly, we’re slapping you with a fine…” just smacks of banana republic hipocrisy and only raises the question of where the hell the govt. people responsible were… why weren’ t the police shutting down freeway traffic and/or closing lanes, why wasn’t it the govt. dept who receive an annual budget for exactly such activities doing the capturing, why was the dog and the public put in danger for so long?..
[quote=“plasmatron”]thanks for the input/varification, sorry to hear that it’s true mind you…
Sure, agreed, but that almost the point… 2 years down the line you’d think the govt. people responsible would have managed to come up with a plan, the dog being there, and coming and going as it pleased as sandman pointed out, posed a significant danger both to the dog and to thousands of high speed freeway users… if after 2 years everyone being aware of the dog being there it has to come down to private “samaritans” to come in and do the govt’s work, then the govt. turns around and says “you didn’t do it properly, we’re slapping you with a fine…” just smacks of banana republic hipocracy and only raises the question of where the hell the govt. people responsible were… why weren’ t the police shutting down freeway traffic and/or closing lanes, why wasn’t it the govt. dept who receive an annual budget for exactly such activities doing the capturing, why was the dog and the public put in danger for so long?.. [/quote]
I hope the animal rescue group that did this capture have the PR smarts to make that exact same point, too. Another prime example of the Taiwan authorities and their blinding half-wittedness. Bumbling fucking bobble-heads.
OK, I actually watched TV coverage on this, and let me tell you, those clowns were lucky they got away without killing themselves or anyone else. They were running around the road shoulders trying to catch the dog (which had evaded up to 50 previous attempts to capture) with what looked like an oversized butterfly net as vehicles whizzed by at top speed. They tried to lure 209 with a bitch in heat, not even figuring out that 209 was also female. If I want to indict the Taiwanese authorities it would be the highway police for not putting a stop to the foolishness.
They fine they got was not exobitant, as their intentions were good. Still, it was well-deserved.
As for why the authorities did not catch 209 before, it’s really quite obvious. The dog has demonstrated an ability to stay out of traffic as well as evade dogcatchers. Catching it probably poses as big of a danger people and dog as letting it be. And what would they do once they’ve caught the dog? Send it to Neihu where it would probably be euthanized after a few weeks like any other stray?
Of course, 209 has hundreds of offers for a good home now because of the news coverage…
I have not heard a word about this. Mind me, I don’t read newspapers or online news, and I don’t watch TV.
Any mentions of the name of the group? KCSAA? SaveDogs?
What I’m wondering, is why they were not able to simply set up a live trap. Sounds like a difficult capture, anyways. 50 attempts? Surely that is a severe exaggeration. Some tranquilizers mixed in food would have done the trick, too.
I just googled this and found a coupe stories. No one got hurt, no one will be fined, I’m sure. It was KCSAA’s first attempt to capture 209 from what I’m reading, and it’s another group from Taipei that brought along a female in heat not knowing that 209 is also a female.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s just one more successful rescue by the good folks involved with KCSAA.
Chemical capture can be very dangerous anywhere in the city, not only on the freeway.(talking with experience about this) Once a dog is drugged up, it takes from two to ten minutes for the dog to lose mobility during which time it can run across the street with impaired vision, reflexes, and sense of direction. Knowing that the Taipei group was escorted by police forces, and had permissions to rescue 209, I think it’s fair to say that the policemen were the ones not adequately prepared to make things safe for this “authorised rescue.”
KCSAA are well equipped and very experienced,(some of the best!) so I’m guessing that the police are the ones who did not pull their own weight to assist them in making this operation safe.
Some people probably complained, and now the ball is being tossed around for no reasons. Just a big media hype. It’s all good, no one got hurt and 209 is now in very good hands.
According to the TV coverage, they tried live traps and baited food. The dog wouldn’t go near it. They finally got it with a tranquillizer dart. I’m guessing that it is a last resort because the dog could panic and run into traffic when it gets hit.
Those who want some background can hit this Taipei Times story, written before the dog was caught.
I saw 209 on TV again the other day, with a bandana around its neck. It’s hard to feel too mad at those rescuers, idiots though they are, because it’s obvious that they love animals and they did it because they didn’t want to see that dog live out the rest of its life on a traffic island.
I think the point here has escaped you panda… These folks are apparently experienced, albeit civilian animal rescuers, who like you said attempted everything in the book before being forced to try the risky option of darting the animal… Considering the police were with them at the time and they had legal permission to do this, which would have involved explaining the whole scenario to the police ahead of time, the only idiots I see in this equation are the police and especially freeway cops who should have shut down the freeway, or at the very least a few lanes, along with warning cones, temporary “go slow” signs etc…
seems clear cut to me, if you have a government so utterly incompetent that despite having official govt. departments and officers specifically paid to do both these tasks, unpaid civilian animal rescuers are forced to both carry out a dangerous animal rescue, and be responsible for traffic control at the scene, while the police literally stand by idly watching the chaos unfold, seems there were indeed f*cking idiots involved, but it wasn’t the folks rescuing the dog…