President Tsai adopts retired guide dogs

10/15/2016 07:50 PM
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Taipei, Oct. 15 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) adopted three retired guide dogs on Saturday and vowed to improve the barrier-free environment for the visually impaired and their seeing eye dogs.

Tsai signed the adoption papers for the Labrador Retrievers -- Bella, Bunny and Maru -- at a ceremony organized in New Taipei by the Huikuang Guide Dog Foundation Taiwan.

The president said she had waited a long time to adopt the three dogs -- she first met them in March this year -- and expressed her gratitude for their company.

(Bella, Bunny and Maru; from President Tsai Ing-wen's Facebook page)

Ideally, there should be about 600 guide dogs in Taiwan, but currently there are only 37 or 38, Tsai noted.

She vowed to build more barrier-free facilities friendly to guide dogs, so that more visually impaired people can benefit from their assistance on public transport and at other public and business venues, without having to worry that their dogs will be barred entry.

The president touted guide dogs as "smart and understanding" and urged the public to get to know them better or adopt them after they retire.

On her Facebook page later the same day, the animal-loving president, who already has two cats, shared photos of the dogs in her home.

"I will take good care of you and thank you for your company," she wrote.

(By Wang Hung-kuo and Christie Chen)ENDITEM/AW

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