Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR) is a charity which, with the support of many volunteers, looks after and finds homes for unwanted, abandoned and stray dogs. Want to find out more? Read our responses to some FAQs below.
Most stray and abandoned dogs are picked up off the streets or in country parks by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) dog-catchers. They are taken to the AFCD kennels where, if not claimed by an owner within 4 days, they will be destroyed. This is where we step in.
We take selected dogs from the AFCD kennels to our Tai Po Re-homing Centre (or Ap Lei Chau Mini Homing Centre), have them health checked and desexed, and begin the process of finding a home for them. We also accept dogs directly surrendered by their owners if we feel we can find them a new home. However, our priority and the reason HKDR was started, are the dogs at AFCD that have only a short time to live.
Dogs are very social animals. If they’re left alone all day, especially in cages, they can develop behaviour problems. They might bark a lot, causing neighbours to complain, or start to destroy things in the flat. When this happens, some owners decide that the best, or the only, solution is to abandon the dog. This is why it’s so important that people just don’t get dogs if they can’t give them enough care and attention.
Many people buy a puppy not thinking about the future and that the cute little bundle of fluff will grow into a dog. Golden Retrievers and Huskies are two breeds that are very often abandoned for this reason. Many people get a certain breed because they like the look of it or see it in the latest blockbuster movie but don’t take into consideration the dog’s needs in terms of space and exercise. All dogs, regardless of size, need exercise, and without an outlet for their energy, dogs develop behaviour problems.
Many puppies are abandoned simply because they are unwanted. If you don’t de-sex your dog, you can expect it to have puppies. De-sexing not only prevents more unwanted puppies being born, but it also helps with many behaviour and health problems such as mounting, inappropriate urination, aggression and mammary and prostate tumours. Sadly, many people abandon their dogs when they develop such health problems, or when they get old. Of all the reasons to abandon a pet, age is the saddest of all.
It’s true that a lot of our dogs are mixed breed, or mongrel, dogs. Often it’s the case that too few people want to adopt these dogs. However, purebreds are often weak and unhealthy with inherited problems because they come from puppy farms where the mothers are kept in poor conditions and the pups taken from them at far too young an age. Mongrels tend to be stronger and have fewer health problems than purebreds. We believe that a dog’s health and personality are far more important than its breed.
At our Tai Po or Ap Lei Chau Re-homing Centre, the dogs are cleaned, fed and walked every day. They’re taken to the vet for check-ups and vaccinations, and they benefit, too, from training and socialisation. All of this is done with the aim of preparing the dog to be a wonderful pet for a responsible owner. Above all, you’ll be helping to save a dog’s life.
The first thing you will be asked to do is to complete our Adoption Questionnaire. We then recommend dogs that we feel will suit your circumstances and lifestyle. We know our dogs and their personalities and we try our best to match the dog to the right home so that both sides are happy.
Once you have met the dogs and decided which one you would like to take home, you will be asked to sign an Adoption Agreement in which you commit to taking full responsibility for the dog, and to cover the basic vet costs such as vaccinations and de-sexing. If you adopt a puppy, you must agree to having the puppy de-sexed at 6 months.
At HKDR we follow a reward-based, positive reinforcement training method of international dog trainers such as Victoria Stillwell (TV show "It's Me or the Dog"). By using these training methods, we see dogs that have even severe behaviour problems such as aggression and biting, change into friendly and well-behaved pets.
We never, under any circumstances, punish dogs by hitting them, as fear of being hit will only make aggression worse.
We ask every adopter to understand that all dogs need time to settle and adjust to their new environment and new people. This can take anything from a day to a month depending on the dog’s age and personality. HKDR also has recommended trainers, Foster Wong and Eddie Choi, who are available to offer behaviour and training advice to all HKDR adopters. Please email Foster and Eddie at email@example.com for further details.
You can adopt a dog or become a volunteer. We always need reliable volunteers who can help at the kennels and/or walk the dogs. We can also always use items for bedding such as old towels and blankets, kennels and crates, or dog beds. We welcome donations of food (Hills Science Diet preferred), and other products such as Frontline.
Donations are also, of course, always very welcome.