Fri 10th August: Dogs in ownership limbo
Having turned up at AFCD during the lunch break yesterday, I was back again today with the two new surrendered shih tzus, Pickle and Pushkin. We had no information about their license status or who the registered owner was, so I had to be issued with a Temporary Keeper’s form while an official surrender is obtained or the owner cannot be traced. Until this happens the dogs are in legal ownership limbo, but at least they are registered as being under my care. After scanning the microchips and checking the computer records, it seems that both dogs had still-valid licenses and were the same age, one year and four months, so presumably brothers.
It is very common for people to surrender a dog that isn’t actually theirs legally because dogs are passed around so much, and very few owners bother to change or update the licenses. In fact it’s quite rare that the person bringing the dog to us has any idea who the registered owner is, and we are left to follow up with all the documentation. In case you don’t know, all dogs over five months of age are required to have a rabies vaccination, after which a license will be issued. The license is valid for three years and then another rabies vaccination is needed and a new license will be issued. There is a space on the back of the license form which is for change of address or ownership details, but I’m willing to bet that very few people bother to update their details when they move house or have any other status changes, like leaving the country.
There was a shortage of staff at AFCD, in fact none of the regular people at all, so I couldn’t take any dogs out even if I’d wanted to. It’s always a relief, but still I worry about the urgent cases or small dogs that are waiting. With all of this out of my control it was straight on to Acorn for a second try at getting the new dogs their health check and vaccinations, as well as having pug Faye and shih tzu Mario seen. Both of them have been under the weather for a couple of days.
It’s a funny thing, but one of the shih tzu brothers had already been desexed (but has a hernia and a ‘cherry eye’), while the other hadn’t. That was exactly the same situation as the other brothers, Bilbo and Frodo, when they came to us and it makes you wonder about their past. Both sets of brothers seem to be very close to each other (Bilbo and Frodo less so now), so they must have lived in the same home or place. So why would only one of each pair have been desexed? I don’t suppose we will ever find out.
Getting back to the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre with the dogs, I was just in time to see Wally leaving with his new family. He had been a very miserable dog when he was first surrendered to us, but seeing him bouncing around and raring to go home with his new family was lovely to watch. I know he’ll be very happy for the rest of his life.
Another dog that was adored for the tragically short time after she was adopted was Staffie Kimbo, the softest and sweetest of characters. I heard today that she has just passed away from renal failure, so I’d like to give her one last mention in her memory. Sweet dreams forever dear Kimbo.