Mon 8th February: System failure

Today’s two stories are about how the system is failing, and I’m not talking about computers or mobile phones this time.

The registered owner of this dog admitted he had thrown him out

The first story is about a golden retriever who was found abandoned, one of many of this breed casually tossed out with the garbage.  Lucky for this guy, he was picked up by some dog lovers and taken to a vet to be scanned for a microchip.  The dog was chipped and the owner traced (though I’m not sure how without the help of AFCD), but on calling the registered owner thinking, I’m sure, that he would be happy to be reunited with his dog, the finders were told, no, I don’t want the dog so I abandoned him on the street.

This story is so common it wouldn’t be worth a mention except for the fact that this owner was happy to say that he abandoned the dog, as casually as if he was saying he didn’t want that pair of shoes any more so he threw them out.  Abandonment of a pet is an offence, but nobody ever gets prosecuted because there is no proof.  Of the many microchipped dogs that turn up at AFCD on a regular basis (that have obviously been dumped), when the owner is contacted they inevitably say the dog ran away but, no, they don’t want it back.  To my (maybe simple) mind, that is clearly a case of abandonment.  If you have a dog that is registered in your name then why wouldn’t you want the dog back unless you had deliberately dumped it in the first place?

So here is one case where an owner has admitted that he simply threw the dog out because he didn’t want it any more, and you can be sure I’ll be following up and I’m after a prosecution. In the meantime, the dog will come to us or, even better, stay in a foster home until he has a new permanent place to live.

The second case is even worse, and highlights the awful business of home, or hobby, breeding.  I found four dogs at AFCD today, all of whom had been picked up from the street near the boat yards at Wong Chuk Hang (Aberdeen).  There were three shiba inus and a poodle, all in shocking condition and clearly “cage dogs” from their long claws and lack of muscle.  Added to that, they all had collapsed feet to a varying extent, a common result of a combination of malnutrition and cramped living space (no exercise or even room to move).

The long claws are a result of never walking, and the clump of hair of the face is loosely attached

I took the dogs straight to the SPCA vet, and we found that although they looked old, all four were young dogs, the shiba inus less than a year old.  The poodle is two or three years, hard to tell because his teeth are discoloured as a result of puppy distemper.  His coat was a solid mass which had actually separated from the skin underneath, but was clinging on by a strip along his spine.  He had a clump of solid hair attached between his eyes, which hung like some ghastly Christmas decoration.  All of the dogs had sticky, stinking skin, with patches of baldness.  At least two of them have hacking coughs, maybe  permanent lung damage from distemper, or maybe just kennel cough which has gone to their chests.

The shape of the tail is clear to see as the coat was all one solid mass, attached only along the spine

Look at the collapsed feet on this poor dog, not even a year old

The vet on duty, lovely Dr Karthi, suggested we only vaccinate the dogs for now rather than put them through any further blood tests, and to just give them a warm bath with medicated shampoo and some good food.  They have started on antibiotics for their coughs, and we’ll give it a couple of days to see how that goes.  What we really, really need now are foster homes, please.

The dogs are small (one of the shiba inus is tiny), and very sweet.  Hard to believe that they could be so happy and trusting when they have lived such a terrible life so far.  The sad thing is that the mother of the three siblings is almost certainly still with the terrible person who threw these dogs out, and who knows what else is stashed away in what must be a stinking hell hole.

Last point, the poodle is actually microchipped meaning it had been bought from a pet shop.  However, the microchip number is still in the pet shop’s name, as it’s up to the purchaser to have the puppy rabies vaccinated and licensed at five months of age.  Most don’t, meaning that the dogs are forever officially nobody’s.   What is the point of insisting that all pet shops microchip all puppies when they are babies, when there is no requirement for any post-sale registration?  The puppies are sold and that’s the end of it.  We get many, many dogs that still have pet shop microchips.  The system is failing, and certainly not protecting the dogs in any way.


25 Responses to “Mon 8th February: System failure”

  1. DL Says:

    This is a good and much-needed post. Thanks for this. More people need to know what they are getting into when they buy a cute little puppy from a pet shop.

    Will the collapsed feet ever ‘recover’?

    • Sally Says:

      Time will tell if the dogs’ legs will recover, but the one shown is the worst and an extreme case. Certainly good food and exercise will help tremendously, but some damage may be permanent.

  2. Rachel Says:

    How can i help if i have my own dogs at home??
    They are so poor!!!!!!!
    It just breaks my heart!!!!!!!!!

  3. jennifer Says:

    i saw these poor things yesterday and it broke my heart! reading your post now almost brought tears to my eyes! thank god you’ve rescued them, Sally! they really deserve a much better life.

  4. Yolanda Says:

    Shame on those “Human”!!!!! I absolutely believe they will get this back some day, some how in some form!!!

  5. hktimes Says:

    This is so sad! I won’t and have never supported a pet shop or breeder. It really pains me to see dogs treated so unfairly expecially since they are usually so good natured. And what a beautiful retriever. How could you not want it anymore?! I’ll give my rescue pup an extra hug tonight and look forward to seeing the update on the poodle and shiba’s!

  6. Fion Says:

    Hello Sally ~How is the poodle?
    May i go to watch him??

  7. AMB Says:

    I cannot see why the facts (dog apparently abandoned, owner admitting that he did not want the dog back and refusing to take the dog back after gentle enquiries from Sally) cannot lead to the inevitable conclusion that this poor animal has been abandoned and thus a conviction of its owner. The photo of the dog would also be valuable evidence to persuade the judge that the owner had abandoned the dog because he looks such a darling. (No harm in a little psychological manipulation!) The authorities can be overly timid abut recommending prosecution here but as a lawyer I would say “Go, Sally go!”

  8. Diana Says:

    Sally, pursue a prosecution, by all means.

  9. Alexandra Says:

    I agree with DL.

    Much as I love to start the day off reading about who has been adopted, posts like today’s are really needed to show people what they are supporting by buying from a pet shop.

    Thank goodness the dogs are with HKDR now. I am sure they will have a much better life from now on.

  10. Norma M Says:

    I was at the kennels this morning for a few hours and saw these poor dogs. They are in such of a terrible state that they actually look like little foxes.
    Good luck with prosecuting these horrid people. They will get their just deserts one day, we can only pray.

  11. Juliema Says:

    The Golden looks very much like my own Julie at home…full support for prosecution Sally.

  12. SY Says:

    Sad fact is once animals are bred for profit whether for pet or other industries, they are viewed as objects and ill-treatment is likely to result..

  13. Amy Says:

    do u still need foster homes for the shiba inus?

  14. nanako Says:

    Damn to the present system, the Agricultural & Fisheries is NOT doing their job properly, & we definitely need new laws to protect the dogs/cats & deter the ruthless pet breeders.

    Sally, you’re very correct, the guy has made an admission, with this & the microchip, I can’t see more evidence is needed to secure a conviction. Let him be the role model for the heartless owners!

  15. Cheryl Says:

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE proceed for prosecution and tell the press! Otherwise ppl just dump and responsible for NOTHING!

  16. Sophia Says:

    I agree that the owner who dumped the golden retriever should be prosecuted. However which is better for the golden retriever in the long run – to be continued owned by this %&$^ who might have been abusing or neglecting him or to find a new loving and caring home?

    • Sally Says:

      I often say that being abandoned by their previous owners is the best thing that ever happened to most dogs that end up with us, especially if they come from a home where they have been living in a cage. However, at some point something has to be done to stop the idea that dogs can be dumped without any fear of consequences. We can still rehome the dogs.

  17. eu Says:

    We need animal police and neighbourhood support on animal welfare!

  18. dorothy chu Says:

    how are the shiba boys doing? i have discussed with my family and we all agreed upon adopting one after he gets better. it’s really heart-breaking seeing those little creatures suffer that much. and moreover, i am planning to keep a golden retriever after i move into my new flat with my husband in mid March. how’s the golden boy doing?
    can i have some more information about the shiba and golden?

  19. Gary Says:

    These unacceptable abandonments need to be with treated with extreme actions from the animal lover of HK. We need to show these registered dog owner that abandon their pets will not be tolerated. We know the government(s) of the world will not enforce their laws, we know these cruelties will continue. We need to take the information of the registered owner and make them loss face. Post notices of their abuse, find their company and inform them of the immoral practice of their staff. We cannot get the local news to face off these criminals, we need to do it ourselves. We have the information, we have the power. Let’s think this through, but let’s act.

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