Tuesday 14th July: Nickel out, pug in

Some good news to start with: it seems that young Gorby doesn’t have leptospirosis after all and he should be able to go home soon.  Apologies for the panic warning, but after the previous years’ deaths I wanted to get the word our as soon as possible.  One of HKDR supporters took the trouble to reaserch the availability of the vaccine which I have included at the bottom of today’s entry.  It’s important information which you might need to know if you walk your dog in areas of possible infection. (Thanks, Vivian).

Today began with the usual calls from people wanting to give us their dogs.  One from a Filipina maid who had been instructed by her employers to get rid of their two golden retrievers.  I told the maid I would only deal with the owners.  Another call was from someone who was leaving Hong Kong at the end of the week and had a boxer he needed to rehome.  When I asked if he had made any attempts himself to find the dog a home, he said he had asked a friend.  I suggested he might like to make more of an effort, such as placing an ad on AsiaXpat.  The third caller had two 18-month mongrel brothers who were starting to fight.  She said one was quite aggressive so she wanted HKDR to take it. I asked her if she thought that her “aggressive” mongrel would be chosen for adoption over all our many other lovely dogs, and suggested that she try to deal with the issue through training and other methods rather than simply giving up on the dog.

All of these calls came even before I had left home for my daily walk, and my patience had deserted me early on.  The worst thing is the likelihood is that these dogs, and all the others that are about to be evicted, will end up at AFCD, but it’s impossible to simply take in every dog that is no longer wanted. The ease with which so many people abandon their dogs leaves me wondering what makes people so devoid of any sense of responsibility or guilt.  It’s not just the dogs that are the victims, but all of the volunteers at HKDR who have to take on the burden and sadness of seeing so many abandoned pets, not to mention the financial drain that every new addition creates.  Tuesday is a day that I would normally go to AFCD to take dogs out, but I can’t face it today knowing that we simply have no space left to accommodate them.

Poor bald pug

Poor bald pug

There is one new dog that I accept, simply because it urgently needs to get away from its current owners.  It’s a 3-year old pug who is kept in a cage, has never even been vaccinated, and who has no hair.  It’s impossible to turn this dog away.  Luckily shih tzu Nickel has gone to Whiskers’n’Paws for fostering, so there is a vacancy for another small dog in the office.  Well, sort of anyway.

These little office dogs are doing so well, it’s really rewarding to see how they have changed.  Previously Luca was a problem dog, but now he is such a happy and affectionate boy and very close to his almost identical “brother”, Cosmo. They never stop playing and now we’d love to see them adopted together.  Whoever takes on these young dogs will have a lot of fun with them.

 The fox terrier, Reynard, now joins in the games and loves to go out walking.  He was totally disinterested in everything when he arrived as a dog with a “cage mind”, but he’s turned into a real terrier with a zest for life and living.

 Peke Mojo is a great character, with a strong mind and huge personality.  He is toilet trained and loves to go out for walks, but if you try to walk anywhere not of his liking, he simply drops to the ground and won’t move.  Today he has chosen to go to visit AFCD kennels where he spent quite a long time.  He pulls me to the gate and refuses to move when I try to walk on, so I end up having to carry him.

 Dorothy the pug is back, and she also loves to go for walks although her mind is more willing than her body in this heat.

Sugar enjoys a cooling dip

Sugar enjoys a cooling dip

 Talking of which, the large plastic water-filled tubs are essential equipment at the kennels, and I stop off at a hardware store to buy a couple more for the Lamma pups.  Sugar and Creamy are especially fond of cooling off in the “swimming pools”, and the one we keep at the kennel gates is also very popular with dogs returning from their walks.

 As I leave the kennels to go home, I pick up two of the “Lorry Pups” that are still at kennels to take back with me.  Although I need and want more puppies like a hole in the head, I know that on Lamma they can enjoy much more space, not to mention aircon, so I reckon two more won’t make a difference.


I managed to check out most of the vet clinics in H.K., Kowloon and the New Territories regarding the availability of the special vaccine for Leptospirosis. None of the Kowloon and New Territories vet clinics has the Lepto Vax 4 which protects against the 4 strains of Lepto bacteria. (There are currently 5 strains of Lepto bacteria and scientists managed to develop vaccine for the first 4 strains.)

According to my vet, Dr. Johnson Ho: The current annual vaccine DHAPPL does not fully protect dogs against all 4 strains of Lepto bacteria. He strongly recommends dogs who enjoys outdoor activities (including daily walks) to receive Lepto Vax 4 vaccine on an annual basis. However, dogs who have received its annual DHAPPL vaccine when they reach one year old are only required to have the DHAPPL booster every 3 years.

It is not just still water that we have to be careful of. The main culprits for the spread of this disease are rodents and stray animals. The animals who are this disease carrier might look fine but they shed the bacteria (disease) through their urine.

Below is the list of vet clinics on Hong Kong Island that have the Lepto Vax 4 (Manufacturer: Fort Dodge) vaccine available:

1. Stanley Veterinary Centre
   Phone: 2813-2030
   Charge for vaccine: $220 (including a quick body check up)

2. Animal Medical Centre (Mid Levels)
   Phone: 2140-6581
   Charge for vaccine: $280 only

3. Happy Valley Veterinary Clinic
   Phone: 2572-0977
   Charge for vaccine: $350 (including a quick body check up)

4. East Island Animal Hospital
   Phone: 2915-3930
   Charge for vaccine: $350 only

5. The Ark Veterinary Hospital
   Phone: 2549-2330
   Charge for vaccine: $100 plus consultation fee of $370 (consultation fee on Sundays is $450)

Dogs who receive the vaccination for the first time need to receive a booster 2 to 4 weeks later. An annual booster is required for subsequent years.


2 Responses to “Tuesday 14th July: Nickel out, pug in”

  1. Joseph Chan Says:

    Dear Sally,
    I was introduced HKDR by our daughter, Jennifer, who I understand is working with you on a dog’s toy project. Jen brought me to the HKDR at Cyber Port last Sat. It was a real eye opening visit to me to aware of what you have done so far for the poor dogs. To be very honest, I thought SPCA is the only place for abandoned dogs, infact, I was wrong.
    My BIG salute to you and your team for all the efforts to keep this meaningful charity work growing and I truely wish you all the success in the future challenges.
    Warmest Regards

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