With the festive spirit in the air, many people are thinking of the perfect gift for loved ones or themselves this Christmas. For some, nothing beats the idea of giving or receiving a new pet on Christmas day, but it’s important to remember that animals are lifelong commitments, and gifting one should never be a hasty decision. We chat with Hayden Kwok from the SPCA about adopting a dog in Hong Kong, and meet some of the adorable pups looking for a forever home in the 852.
Surprises Are Not Always a Good Idea
Pet ownership should be well thought out as it bears a certain degree of responsibility and financial cost. Therefore a ‘gift’ may not lead to the best outcome for the animal when it is unwelcome. If you choose to gift a pet, it is best to sit down with that individual and their family to discuss what having a pet may involve. This way no animals will bear the repercussions of any unconscious decisions. Once you have realistically thought about the responsibilities, and are ready to welcome a new member into your family, then why not choose to adopt?
Adopt, Don’t Shop
At the SPCA, we always encourage adopting rather than shopping. Adoption gives an animal a second chance at life – one they would not have if it weren’t for the hard work of all the welfare organisations. Doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance? These animals come from a variety of sources and situations, some have been left on the street, while others have been abandoned by their owners, or are victims of uncontrolled breeding or cruelty. Above are just some of the adorable furry pals who are searching for their forever homes in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s Dog Trade
Most dogs in Hong Kong are sold through pet shops rather than home breeders. Sadly, many of these pet shops are notorious for selling sick and poorly bred puppies, and many have been taken from their mothers too young, when they have not developed sufficient immunity. These pet shops in turn are supplied by some home breeders and also puppy mills, and in some cases, by puppies illegally smuggled over the border from China. Puppy mills are larger scale-breeding establishments, where dogs are often kept in overcrowded, filthy conditions in order to minimise waste cleanup. They are often kept in tiny wire cages, with wire flooring that injures their legs and paws, and these cages are stacked one upon the other to minimise space, with the dogs below being messed upon by the dogs above. For all of these reasons, if you really don’t want to adopt, then please shop with a licensed facility that meets welfare standards in accordance with the current legislation.
The Magic of Mongrels
Although pedigrees make great pets, let’s remember that mongrels – or Hong Kong’s very own ‘tong gau’ – also make great companions that are in fact more acclimatised to the city’s environment than their pedigree counterparts. Mongrels are animals of mixed genetic heritage, and do not have a distinct breed look. They can vary in size and appearance massively, from Terrier to Labrador crosses, to dogs which show no clues as to their initial breed. Contrary to many people’s opinion, mongrels are not more unhygienic, aggressive, or difficult to train than a pure-bred animal. So, if you are considering acquiring a dog, with so many mongrel animals available for adoption at the SPCA and other charitable institutions throughout Hong Kong, why not take a chance and give one of these deserving dogs a good home? You will be surprised at just how loving and affectionate they can be!
More Information on Pet Adoption
Click here for SPCA adoption centre locations and opening hours and here to view the latest list of animals for adoption.
Call SPCA’s Wan Chai Centre on (+852) 2232 5529 or Kowloon Centre on (+852) 2713 9104, and quote the animal’s PN number for more information.
Read more! Explore the rest of our Pets section on Localiiz.