At least two out of 10 dogs suffering from heatstroke died at Saturday’s opening of the 19th Pet Fair Asia as a heatwave descended on Shanghai, a mainland news website reports.
A bulldog and a golden retriever died in the long queue outside the exhibition centre in Pudong district, the fair organiser told Thepaper.cn.
The event had drawn about 60,000 visitors, many of whom brought their pets. Many had queued up with their pets hours before the doors opened at 9am, and many who arrived later complained of having to wait more than over an hour in 35-degree Celsius heat to get in.
The golden retriever, who was seen earlier lying on the ground surrounded by people helping it to cool down, died later.
Han Wen, a fair visitor, said chaotic fair management, inadequate signage and poor queue maintenance were to blame.
Many people with pets, who should have lined up in a special channel with extra pet security checks, were entering through the normal entrance, Han said.
Some pet owners also reported clashing with security guards in the queues.
Wu Jinhua, a fair spokesman, told Thepaper.cn that water sprays and fountains had been installed for dogs but the heatwave was too overpowering.
He said the organiser had earlier issued alerts online for days warning fair visitors not to bring their pets ahead of its official opening. .
Shanghai meteorological authority also issued an orange heat wave alert – meaning temperature s could reach 37 degrees – on Saturday morning.