Plutaluang has started enforcing a 26-year-old law, with fines up to 5,000 baht, barring sub-district residents from owning more than two unregistered pets.
Anchalee Paengprom, director of the Public Health and Environment Department, confirmed April 26 that the 1992 Public Health Act decree against ownership of more than two cats and dogs is being vigorously enforced again in light of Chonburi being declared a “red zone” for rabies infections.
She said the department has received more than 40 complaints about dogs chasing, barking or biting people. Residents are letting their dogs loose and keeping more than is legally allowed.
A large sign was recently erected in the Sattahip sub-district reminding people about the law. It points out that anyone having more than two animals must take them to the Public Health Department for a checkup and vaccinations.
So while shocked residents are up in arms, saying the local government is trying to ban their pets, they can, in fact, keep them if they are cleared for rabies and other diseases and registered.
One person the law won’t daunt is local celebrity, Sawang Poltamai, 61, who keeps more than 50 dogs he rescued from the streets. He gained notoriety by having two dogs join him on his sidebar motorbike to solicit leftover food from local restaurants.
He said all his animals are safe and clean and will register any that need it.