There are pet shops all over Hong Kong.
Though, it is sad to realize that it has become a trade and business for many. Puppies are being sold well younger than 8 weeks (malnourished and weak) and in turn most times become sick shortly after leaving the store. Tung Choi Street in Mong Kok, sometimes coined as “Goldfish Street” with the amount of aquariums there and exotic fish, turtles, and even jelly fish for sale – for less than $5 USD, you could go home with a new friend. While it’s great for pet lovers and those with the time to care for their new friends, my main thoughts are that I just hope the low prices don’t fog buyers of the value of life.
In Hong Kong, there are multiple organizations that help promote adoption such as the Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR), the Hong Kong Animal Adoption Centre (HKAAC), the Lifelong Animal Protection Charity (LAP), and even the Hong Kong Police Force where you can adopt a retired Police Dog! Animals are being euthanised within a few days’ time with the lack of manpower to care for them, so it’s a collective effort for these organizations to help find suitable homes for them. Bare in mind that adoption and the decision to own a pet is a huge commitment! Take the quiz to see if you’re ready! ;)
A particular organization that I would like to highlight is the Society for Abandoned Animals located in Yuen Long. But first, a testimonial from my 9 year old niece about her first time experience at age 7 learning about the fragility of life and meeting some new furry friends:
“Since I was two, I had always wanted to have a pet. My mum was allergic to animal fur so I couldn’t have a dog. After begging for five years, my mum finally found a solution. The visits to SAA began. When we first arrived, I thought the animals looked scary. When I entered the dog place, I realized how lucky the dogs that had homes were. Though, the dogs in SAA actually enjoyed their life already and tried to be as happy as possible. The SAA dogs appreciated their lifestyle while pet dogs were expecting more from their owners, for they were terribly spoiled. The dogs in SAA looked frightening, but inside, they had a huge heart. Like the dog I sponsored, Alison, she was very passionate and clever. She could sit and shake paws! Another example was Dick, a huge dog, one of the largest in SAA. He could do tricks as well and he was a gentle giant. He wouldn’t even hurt a fly!” — Alicia C.
Out in the New Territories of Hong Kong, a visit to SAA can really be a calming, enlightening experience. The volunteers take extra care of the animals and know how to handle the dogs (not afraid to just join the dogs in the cage). Volunteers are also knowledgeable of the different personalities, it’s great to know that the animals are not just treated as objects of trade. There are cats, dogs, goats, and even a pig named Peter who weighs 1 ton! It’s great to take out a few dogs for a walk around the area, escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. (I got to meet Alison, Tin Tin, Dick, Jack, and Yumi)
The SAA is open on Saturdays, Sundays, and Public Holidays from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Located at Section 1, Pak Sha Village, Kiu Hing Road, Yuen Long, New Territories.
I traveled to SAA by car, but for public transit – it is recommended to take the Light Rail to Tai Tong Road. Then from Hop Choi Street, taking the green mini bus No. 39 (Best to tell the driver where you are heading with a written name and address in Chinese)