Weds 10th February: Wasted day

Teddy after his recent haircut

I took Teddy the labradoodle over to the kennels for an adoption interview today.  It seemed like a good idea at the time but as soon as I arrived I realised that if Teddy didn’t pass his inspection I’d be stuck with him all afternoon.  He didn’t, and I was.  I couldn’t take Teddy into the office because it was full of four and two-legged animals, and there was nowhere else to leave him.  I subsequently hovered at the kennel gates with Teddy tied to the “dog tree” wondering, I’m sure,  what on earth was happening and why he was there.  Last time I took him over it was for a haircut, but now there was nothing.

I half-heartedly helped with the selection of a suitable dog for the would-be adopter, but Teddy was anxious and clingy and was getting very stressed.  Finally I had to give in and take him home.  It ended up being Benjamin, a small 9-month mixed-breed dog, who was chosen.

Being at home doesn’t mean that I’m not working, of course, and when HKDR moves to Lantau and I’m still living on Lamma, I will be spending a lot less time at the kennels.   I have already worked out how it will all work, though at the moment it’s all theory, of course.  I will still be taking dogs from the Pokfulam AFCD kennels, and fostering the young puppies.  The Sunday Whiskers’n’Paws adoption afternoons will continue, so for me the real difference will be that a lot of my office work will be done at home.

While on the subject of the new kennels, we need an environmental engineer to help on the project.  If anyone reading this blog happens to be one, or knows of one, who would be willing to donate some time and expertise, please let me know.  Urgently!

My bedroom (puppy enclosure and balcony) is crawling with tiny pups at the moment (so yes, foster homes are needed), and I find myself spending a lot of time just watching them.  They’re at the unbelievably cute stage right now, not yet quite sure of themselves and how things work, but testing it all out.  These are the babies that were with the mother dog at AFCD, both her own litter and the add-ons.  I had to move them from kennels when we needed some sheltered space for another group when the rain came.  Looking after pups this young is easy as they require very little other than food, water and clean newspaper.  The only problem is that they squeal with excitement every time they see a big dog, thinking it’s their mama, and this happens throughout the night as well as during the day.  Anyway, they’re all healthy, happy and very friendly, so that’s the most important thing.

It’s almost Chinese New Year and I know many of you are getting ready for the celebrations and family dinners, but I hope we’ll still have a good crowd at Insomnia tonight (Thursday).  It’s not a big and fancy event, just a chance for people to meet and have a drink, while supporting HKDR and our Buy a Brick campaign at the same time.  There are prize opportunities for anyone who buys a “brick” (postcard), so don’t be shy.  See you there!

PS: An update on the golden retreiver that was abandoned by his owner (who admitted dumping him).  The dog has been adopted, which is great, but the person who found him and spoke to the ex-owner is now not sure she wants to give evidence.  There’s nothing I can do, and this is the problem.  Unless people speak out, those who abandon their pets will continue to do so without fear of prosecution or punishment.  Pet shops will continue to sell sick puppies unless those who buy them  report every case to AFCD and/or SPCA and the offending pet shops can be closed down.  As I said yesterday, it’s the public who need to speak out.  Until then, nothing will change.

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6 Responses to “Weds 10th February: Wasted day”

  1. Abby and Lou Says:

    Why are people so afraid to speak out against injustices?!!

    I would say that dogs lovers are still a minority in Hong Kong and people generally don’t like getting into other people’s business (unless it’s out of spite, for money, etc). Is this cynical? I hope so or else the public will never speak up.

    Even in a legislated country like the US, prosecution against animal cruelty hasn’t been around all that long.

    All we can do is to continue to lobby for more protection and for people like Sally to keep us in the know. And NOT buy a puppy from a pet shop.

    This includes not doing ANY business with a pet shop that sells animals.

  2. jerry Says:

    dear sally — yes the time is long overdue to find a new and effective approach to lobby government to change their attitudes re pet shops, desexing especially the stray population, cruelty and abandonment prosecution, shutting down home breeding and so on.
    But it has to be organised otherwise it is a waste of time and effort.

    Central to a new approach should be a letter campaign but we have to be clear about what we want to ask for and it has to be organised and on going. The issues raised need to be supported by the kind of horror stories that you encounter all the time.

    Your comments about lack of common opinions on how to do things among the existing animal welfare organisations leads to the conclusion that a new group needs to be set up to coordinate any new initiatives. It seems to me that HKDR has by far the most active and numerous helpers and I am sure a small working group could be set up to handle for example, receiving all the letters and passing them to Gov with appropriate media coverage. And this has to be repeated until the peoples message begins to sink in.

    An ad in HKMag reaches nearly 250,000 readers and a mention in the pet column of the Standard could reach almost half a million. I am sure a request for letters could be arranged in these 2 media alone not to mention your other media contacts.

    I am sure a media story of the poor little breeding dogs who have lost the use of their legs plus an invitation to vent our outrage that this can be allowed to happen will bring a flood of letters.

    Anyway these are my thoughts, as usual I’ll be happy to help

    all the best Jerry

  3. Lesley Says:

    It’s good to know that Golden Retreiver is being adopted by someone. God bless this kindness man!!!

  4. Aiiyah Says:

    Best of luck with tonight!

  5. Helen Y Says:

    Jerry I am with you, count me in.

  6. Lana Says:

    Hi Sally,

    I’ve recently moved over from Australia and was a lawyer over there. I’m not completely up to speed with Hong Kong laws as yet, but you should be able to subpeona the person who spoke to the ex-owner if things get that far – in other words, the witness won’t really have a choice as to whether or not they want to give evidence.

    It might be an idea to contact Legal Aid, if such an organisation exists here in Hong Kong.

    On another note, I’m a new volunteer dog-walker (I’ve visited the kennels 3 times) and I’m so proud to be part of your charity! You do such an amazing job!!

    Lana.

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