Header image courtesy of Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR) (via Facebook)
Originally published by Stephanie Lown. Last updated by Mina Chan.
If you are thinking about getting a companion animal, you may want to consider adopting from a non-profit organisation before hitting the pet shops. Not only do you help sustain animal rescue charities by adopting from their shelter, but the animal welfare advocates who work at these organisations are experienced in matching the right rescue animal to you and your lifestyle to ensure a long-lasting and harmonious relationship.
It may be a bit difficult at first—many of these animals were abandoned, mistreated, or abused, and it can take time, training, and attention to rehabilitate them back into society and regain their trust. Or it may not be difficult at all, and your wonderful new friend fits right into your family and routine. Either way, an animal is for life, so be aware when welcoming a pet into your life and only do so if you can commit and see it through. If you can, the benefits to both you and your pet far outweigh the cost. Here are some of the top pet adoption organisations in Hong Kong where you may meet your “pawtner in crime.”
Editor’s note: Due to the ever-evolving restrictions implemented to combat Covid-19, many businesses are taking extra precautions and reducing their hours and capacity—or are temporarily closed. While all information published was correct at the time of publication, it is best to call ahead and check opening times as recommended by the businesses themselves before heading out to avoid disappointment.
Based out of a small shelter in Sai Kung, director Catherine Lumsden does the utmost to provide the best care to all of her rescue dogs until they have been rehomed. To visit Catherine’s Puppies, the shelter is open daily from 11 am to 4 pm, and you may visit the website or Instagram account, where puppies that need a home are featured daily.
Catherine’s Puppies, Ho Chung, Sai Kung | (+852) 6799 7530
Founded in 2003, HKDR has grown to become one of the largest dog adoption centres in Hong Kong. Those looking to adopt puppies can head to Whiskers N Paws at Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau, every Sunday from 2 pm to 5 pm, where prospective parents can meet lovable dogs and hopefully take them home. For potential adoptees looking for more mature rescues, fill out the adoption questionnaire—smaller dogs stay at the Kennedy Town Homing Centre, while bigger ones are taken care of at the Tai Po Homing Centre.
All these good boys and girls can be adopted or sponsored. HKDR also hosts dog training programmes in collaboration with Positive Partners in Cantonese and English to educate owners on how to better understand and communicate with their new family member.
There isn’t an animal too big or small at Kirsten’s Zoo, as all are welcome here. Of course, the majority are cats and dogs, though Kirsten’s Zoo has been known to rehome other companion animals, such as terrapins, hedgehogs, and rabbits, too! Be sure to check out their website to see which animals are in need of adoption or foster homes, and keep your eyes peeled for their adoption days, as they alternate Sundays at Peak Café Bar.
LAP initially ran as a foster network without kennels or staff, with the aim to find homes for abandoned and neglected companion animals in Hong Kong. Today, LAP has expanded and you may now visit the cat adoption centre in Sai Ying Pun and the dog adoption centre in Tsuen Wan. Check out its Facebook and Instagram accounts, where LAP announces adoption days and you may get the chance to meet the animals in person and interact with them to discover whether an animal is the right fit for you and your home.
Paws United is run by a group of dedicated volunteers with experience in homing over 500 animals a year. It aims to build a network of temporary and permanent housing for homeless animals in need. Visit its new cat and dog adoption centres at The Pulse, open every day from 10 am to 6 pm, to meet your new furry family member. Walk-ins are welcome, but in light of the pandemic, visitors with an advance booking will be granted priority.
Paws United, Shops 209–210, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay | (+852) 9130 2919
Home to more than 100 rescue dogs and quickly becoming recognised for rescuing and rehabilitating many mistreated and abandoned dogs, the Sai Kung Stray Friends Foundation largely relies on the donations of the public to meet its monthly operational costs. Its most well-known rescue case was that of a dog who was left stranded at sea on a fishing boat during one of Hong Kong’s worst typhoons in August 2018, which launched a petition calling for tougher animal welfare laws. Volunteer, donate, or adopt by visiting the site below.
Sai Kung Stray Friends Foundation, 151 Tai Lam Wu, Sai Kung | (+852) 6012 8559
The SPCA needs no introduction, as this organisation has been rescuing and rehoming a range of animals since 1903, including hamsters, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, terrapins, lizards, and birds. SPCA is the first charity in Hong Kong to deal with all aspects of animal welfare, but with only one percent of funds coming from the government, the large majority of support stems from the generosity of the general public, which helps fund its services, such as the veterinary clinic, rescue team, law enforcement and homing services.
TAILS (Team for Animals in Lantau South) is an animal welfare society run by volunteers which aims to serve as the main point of contact to provide safety and care for animals on Lantau and beyond. It offers a foster and adoption programme to help nurture and provide treatment to animals who have been surrendered, abandoned, neglected, abused, or injured. Go ahead and fill out the online questionnaire so TAILS can match you up with the best-suited dog or cat for you, whether you are looking to adopt or foster an animal.
Villa Kunterbunt—meaning “House of Variety” in German—rescues and rehomes dogs and puppies of all breeds and ages. You can call or WhatsApp Okka Scherer at (+852) 9544 9181 for adoption enquiries. If you’re looking to spend money on a good cause, Villa Kunterbunt regularly hosts fundraisers to sustain operations and pay for its rescues’ medical bills. For more updates on its cute adoptees, visit the Facebook page or Instagram.
You might know Whiskers N Paws as an emporium for all of your pet supply needs, but the shop also houses rescue dogs and cats for adoption. Hong Kong Dog Rescue’s adoption day takes place at Whiskers N Paws every Sunday from 2 pm to 4 pm, and the shop partners with LAP for rehoming cats and with SPCA to rehome small animals! You can now visit and adopt cats, dogs, and small animals (such as hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits) at the pet superstore, and pick up a few special treats and supplies for your new adoptee, too.
Whiskers N Paws, 10/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau | (+852) 2552 6200