Asia

Chinese cop's retirement home for police dogs

Police dog handler Bai Yan with Little Dragon, one of the retirement home residents Image copyright KANKAN NEWS
Image caption Police dog handler Bai Yan has spent more than a million yuan on the home

A video showing a Chinese police officer's retirement home for the service's dogs has touched the hearts of millions in China.

Users of the popular Miaopai and Sina Weibo social networks are commenting on how moved they are by the decision of Bai Yan, a 55-year-old police dog handler, to create a special home specifically for service industry dogs.

The latest video about the home, by Kankan News, features Little Dragon, a sparky 10-year-old German Shepherd, and has been viewed more than 14.7 million times on video platform Miaopai, where over 9,000 users have commented.

Thousands more have also commented via the Sina Weibo microblog.

'Need daily care'

Image copyright KANKAN NEWS
Image caption 14-year-old Sonny is one of the oldest residents at the retirement home

Mr Bai has spent seven years and more than one million yuan ($150,000; £117,000) on the resort, which is in a spacious mountainous region of Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang province.

It has assault courses and long walking paths for the dogs. There is also a cemetery at the site, where 26 of Bai's former "comrades" are buried.

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Image copyright KANKAN NEWS
Image caption "When he flies over my back, he feels young again," Mr Bai said of Little Dragon, the 10-year-old German Shepherd

In an interview with local paper Qianjiang Evening News in June, Mr Bai explained the reason for setting up the home.

He said it was largely because he didn't want to take the simple route of euthanising one of his dogs, Sonny, after the elderly Alsatian contracted skin cancer.

Mr Bai claimed that rather than following vets' advice and having the animal put to sleep, he spent time giving daily medicinal baths to bring Sonny's illness under control.

After that experience, he said he reached an understanding that retired dogs, much as humans, "need daily care".

'Worth our admiration'

Mr Bai has been a police dog handler since 2004, and has trained over 30 police dogs. Currently, 16 of his former dogs are residents at the retirement home.

"They have accompanied me for over 10 years; you could say they are my work comrades, or even my family," he told local media in June.

Image copyright SINA WEIBO
Image caption Thousands of social media users commented on Sina Weibo, praising Mr Bai and the retired police dogs

Responding to the latest video, Sino Weibo user Pinxieyougong says Mr Bai is "worth our admiration. We should see more of this [behaviour] across the nation," she adds, "After all, these dogs are civil servants."

Other users agree, calling the dogs "national heroes". One user says they "should be given a pension" for the contributions they make to the country.

In June, police dogs were widely praised for the support they provided after a landslide in southwest Sichuan province. They have also been credited in the country's media for helping find lost children.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Service dogs were praised in the Chinese media for their efforts during the Sichuan landslide in June

By Kerry Allen, BBC Monitoring

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