July 20th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment
What’s really upsetting about surrender requests is that there seems to be this idea that HKDR can – and should – welcome all dogs with open arms, and that we have unlimited space and volunteers or staff ready and eager to take care of all these unwanted pets. Today (Friday) we have one staff member, May, on duty and our diehard volunteers either away or unable to come for whatever reason, and to say the work is hard would be the biggest understatement ever. We’re incredibly lucky to have the staff and dedicated volunteers that we do, but there’s a limit to what any one human can take on. When dog owners contact me and say they have no space in their new small apartment, how much space do they think we have? When those who have adopted from HKDR and later want to return the dog, do they think we have kept that dog’s corner vacant just in case it comes back to us any time in the future? I challenge anyone who wants us to take their dog to come to Tai Po and see where they would like their dog to fit in, which enclosure they think their scared animal would be happy moving into. Nobody can have any concept of how hard it is until they have to do it.
The first thing I ask would-be surrenders is, have you tried finding a home yourself? Yes, they all say, we have tried everyone we can think of. If they are leaving the country I ask why the dog can’t go along as well, and the answer is usually they will be moving to a place that doesn’t allow dogs (why?) or some other unbelievable excuse. And yet the number of times that a neighbour or relative has turned up to adopt a dog that they have just found out has been surrendered to us proves to me that many people have made no effort whatsoever and have taken the easiest possible option of coming straight to HKDR.
When I was asked if we would accept the two “Jack Russells” who were being given up because their owner was moving to the UK, I asked the same questions and was told it was impossible to take them. But today their ex-owner turned up to take them back, and what was absolutely not possible has become do-able after all and yes, they will be going to England now. So you see why I find it hard to believe the claims that everything under the sun has been done to either keep the dogs or to find them new homes. It’s far easier to find one individual dog a home than it is when there is a choice of hundreds, and with networking sites like Facebook where anything can be spread within a matter of hours, HKDR should be the very last place that any dog owner should consider (leaving aside AFCD or some other “rescue” options of course).
I had to go to AFCD yet again today to get some new dogs rabies vaccinated and licensed, and to change ownership of dogs that had previously been licensed (such as the two “Jack Russells” ironically). I was told there were two dogs available, a peke and a poodle, both young and friendly. I know readers of my blog feel the same way as I do about these cases, and ask why and how could or would someone do that to their pet but anyway, of course I took them. I was on my way to Acorn anyway so it was easy enough to add them to the dogs already in the van. The poodle (Paris) is a girl on springs, bouncing non-stop and so happy and active that I’m guessing it was why she was given up. A lot of people just expect their young dogs and puppies to sit still and not bother them.
I don’t know about the peke and her excuse. All I know is that after having had her checked and vaccinated, I took her back to Ap Lei Chau and by the end of the day she had been adopted! How’s that for a quick turnaround? I gave her the name of Moon, but it lasted no more than an hour or so.
It took too long for schnauzer Fritzie to be chosen and I have no idea why, as out of all of our schnauzers he was by far the cutest with his big ears. Anyway, maybe it just wasn’t his time before and today was.
Small dogs come in and go out far more often than the larger ones, so updates from May about adoptions at Tai Po are always cause for celebration. You must know of my love for “Monkey Dogs”, the name I give to the distinctive shaggy grey types. I have homed a few of these over the years and still have my own collection on Lamma, with Rufus being a recent addition at Tai Po. Most of these dogs came from Shek O, but Rufus had obviously been an owned dog at some time because he was comfortable with a collar and leash and there was none of the twisting and rolling that happens when a stray-born dog is taken. I got a photo from May today of Rufus with two women and had to ask “is this an adoption?”, and was delighted to get the reply that yes it was (though not really official yet). So hooray for Rufus!
And a huge hooray too for Docker, the dog I mentioned in my blog yesterday. He came to me three years ago as a puppy from AFCD, and his tail was badly injured and had to be docked (cut off) and that’s why he was called Docker. I’d completely forgotten that he was ever seen by any potential adopters, but apparently he was his photo has been on someone’s wall since those early days – and today they came to take him home! Isn’t that amazing? Poor Docker was totally nonplussed as to why he was being given a shampoo after our morning walk, then ‘dressed’ in a nice harness and new leash and led out of the gate by himself. He acted like a scared baby on the sampan, wanting to be hugged and reassured (which if course I did), but he was very brave and walked so nicely to the Homing Centre to meet his new family. I suggested a two week trial to see if Docker could make the adjustment from Lamma dog to City dog, but he seemed to know that it was time to leave and accepted that we had to say goodbye. He’s in good hands and I just want him to be happy, and although it was hard to lift him into the taxi to send him on his way I think he will be fine.
One of the dogs I took from AFCD on Tueday was a very sweet and pretty pug girl I called Angel. I mentioned that she had bad knees (luxating patellas) and would need surgery. The photo of Angel from behind shows what this condition looks like, and she needs to have the operations as soon as possible. Dr Tony is a great surgeon for this as he has done so many, but we need sponsors to help cover the costs as well as a foster home where Angel can recover. The knees have to be done one at a time, so it will take a few months for a full recovery, but once done Angel will be able to walk normally again. Can anyone help? For fostering please email Maria at email@example.com, and for sponsorship please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and thank you.