Your Guide to Adopting a Dog in Hong Kong

    Getting a dog is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. To help those thinking of getting a dog, we chatted with Sally Anderson of Hong Kong Dog Rescue to note the things to consider BEFORE adopting a dog, and we’ve also added the best dog adoption places in Hong Kong. 

    Anyone thinking about getting a dog or pet of any kind must consider all aspects carefully, especially if it is likely that Hong Kong will not always be their home. Too many pets are abandoned when their owners move to another country.

    Things to Consider Before Adopting a Dog in Hong Kong

    1. Why Are You Getting a Dog?

    Is it because your children want one (a very common reason)? Remember when your child was desperate for that latest toy and wouldn’t be happy until they had one, then lost interest very quickly? The same applies to a puppy. A child begging for a dog should never be the reason to adopt, as it’s a commitment to that dog’s life.

    The whole family must agree that having a dog is what they want, and the adults must have the final say and choice of which puppy or dog will join them.

    2. As a Recently Married Couple, is the Idea of Having a “Baby” Sweet?

    Many dogs are let go when a real human baby comes along, so a dog should never be a substitute child, unless there will never be human children born, or a commitment to the dog is guaranteed for its entire life. 

    Small family adopted dog kissing smiling girl's face

    3. Have You Got the Time For a Dog?

    If you work and don’t have a helper or, at the very least, a dog walker, then don’t get a dog. Dogs are social animals by nature and don’t handle being alone well, which can lead to all sorts of problems. It’s also not fair, or kind, to have a dog that you will leave on its own all day.

    4. Can you Give a Dog Adequate Exercise?

    Many people think one 30-minute walk a day is all that’s required, but it’s not enough no matter the size of the dog. Taking a dog out is great physical exercise but it also gives a dog a chance to meet dog and human friends, play, and socialise. Dogs that aren’t socialised develop the same sort of issues that people do when kept isolated.

    5. Do You Want a Trained Dog or a Young Puppy, and if the Latter Do You Have the Time, Patience and Knowledge to Train a Puppy?

    If you have children, remember that all puppies bite with sharp teeth, and that children must never be expected to be responsible for the care or exercising of a dog, no matter how much they promise to do so.

    6. Does Your Building and/or Landlord Allow Pets?

    Many don’t, so be sure to check first!

    If you’re thinking of buying a puppy or a dog in Hong Kong, please remember that there is no such thing as a happy breeding dog and puppy farms are incredibly cruel. There are animals of every kind waiting to be adopted, and buying should simply never be an option. Contact all of the dog rescue and rehoming organisations in the city and be prepared to wait. You will almost certainly find the exact puppy you are looking for, fancy and exotic breeds excepted (although, even then you never know)!

    Seriously thinking about getting a dog? Then be sure to get your family and yourself tested for allergies to dogs, if you haven’t already.

    The Dog Adoption Process in Hong Kong

    Visit your chosen centre to interact with the dogs. The SPCA recommends going with all your family members (including helpers) to ensure that everyone in the family gets on with the dog and vice versa. Adopters have to be aged 21 or over and hold a valid Hong Kong ID.

    The centre will then undertake an assessment on the applicant, which is based on various factors including whether the housing allow pets, number of family members, number of existing pets, animal care experience, time spent with the animal, breed of the animal, character of animals, the concept of raising a pet and the interaction with animals during the visit etc.

    You will have to submit proof of residential address and a representative from the centre may come to your home to inspect it. 

    In terms of fees, the Hong Kong SPCA charges from $900 to adopt a mongrel puppy/ dog and from $1,500 for a pure bred/ cross breed puppy/ dog. Desexing deposits start from $1,000.

    Adopt, don’t shop!

    Where to Adopt a Dog in Hong Kong

    Consider adopting from one of the following organisations:

    New SPCA Facility in Tsing Yi

    A brand new SPCA centre has recently opened its doors in Tsing Yi, bringing a wave of hope and compassion to the animal welfare landscape in Hong Kong. This exciting expansion allows the SPCA to extend its reach and make a significant impact in rescuing, treating, rehabilitating, and finding loving homes for animals in need.

    The SPCA Tsing Yi Centre boasts over 8,000 square feet dedicated to animal adoption, providing a spacious and welcoming environment for an increased number of animals eagerly waiting for their forever homes. An additional 14,000 square feet is devoted to vital animal birth control and welfare work, with a strong focus on reducing the population of abandoned and unwanted animals.

    Strategically situated, the new Centre in Tsing Yi enables quicker response times to animal rescue calls in the New Territories, where the demand for rescue services is particularly high. This means that animals in distress can receive immediate assistance, greatly improving their chances of survival and recovery.

    The Tsing Yi Centre is home to one of Hong Kong’s largest and most advanced animal hospitals, spanning an impressive 16,500 square feet. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including a full diagnostic laboratory, digital and dental radiography, ultrasonography, as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine and physiotherapy services, the hospital ensures that animals in need receive comprehensive and top-quality care.

    Moreover, the SPCA Jockey Club Centennial Centre in Tsing Yi takes a groundbreaking approach to animal welfare education. Their immersive and interactive classroom utilizes innovative technology, engaging children from Kindergarten 2 to Primary 4 in fun-filled and educational experiences that promote respect, care, and understanding for animals.

    Beyond its educational initiatives, the Tsing Yi Centre serves as a warm and inviting hub for animal lovers and the community at large. With pet-friendly facilities, a stunning rooftop offering beautiful harbour views, conference rooms, a modern grooming area, and a lifestyle retail space, the Centre provides a holistic experience for both pets and their owners. It also hosts community events that bring together animal lovers, creating a sense of togetherness and belonging.

    The very first event at the Tsing Yi Centre will be the SPCA’s adoption event on Saturday, 23rd March 2024. Dog lovers will have the delightful opportunity to meet rescue dogs outside their kennels, and there will also be a pop-up marketplace featuring a wide range of products for both pets and their owners to enjoy.

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    Tiffany Beeson
    Tiffany Beeson is a content writer, editor, and copywriter covering health, parenting, education, families, and lifestyle plus global real estate and finance sectors. Tiffany has contributed to large global publications in scientific research and holds a Master of Science degree in Physiology. She spent over 18 years of her career in the field of clinical research in the USA, Hong Kong, Europe, and Canada - writing protocols, standard operating procedures and data reports.

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