28th January 2021
Dogs who perform a valuable public service
Some dogs are model citizens. Like a guide dog named AJ, who has been appointed an "honorary theater manager" at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center to promote the use of guide dogs at cultural events.
As part of his honorary role, the dog also participates in public service announcements filmed by the center to help the disabled and attends promotional events.
The center has earmarked seats on the ground floor for the visually impaired.
Visually impaired people and those who have adopted retired guide dogs are eligible for free tickets to the center. Guide dogs are allowed to accompany those who are blind or of poor sight into the center.
Shanghai started training guide dogs in 2006, and 55 have "graduated". Of those 39 are still working dogs.
The dogs are generally Labrador.
A guide dog needs to begin training when it's about 2 months old, and its service time is generally 6 to 8 years. After retirement, the dogs may be adopted by families meeting certain criteria.