Having a pet at home brings a lot of benefits not only to the owner but also to the entire family, as well. For one, pets give unconditional warmth and affection to their owners. A bad day can easily get better when your pet greets you with a sloppy kiss or a warm snuggle.
Either way, the value of pets lies with their loyalty and unconditional love for those who look after and care for them. But for those who are into pets, you’d be surprised to find out that as highly populated Hong Kong is, there are just as plenty of stray animals out there who do not have a permanent home.
Guide to Adopting Pets in Hong Kong
So, if you’re thinking of getting a fur baby home, consider adoption. In Hong Kong, there’s a handful of rescue organizations out there that are willing to help you get signed up for a pet of your choice, but before we get to the point, here are some things to consider before adopting a pet:
- Are you ready to take on the responsibility of adopting an animal?
While pets are sweet and adorable, getting one for your home will require commitment and sacrifice, just like what you do to raise young children. Though most pets are smart and will have ways to look after themselves, they, too, need the attention and care from their owners to keep them healthy and happy to be part of the family.
- Are you comfortable with the additional costs that may come with caring for a pet at home?
Other than the ‘rehoming’ fee (cost of adopting your pet), make sure you research the cost of neutering and vaccinating your new pet. You will also want to research everyday costs associated with cat/dog ownership such as food, training, grooming, flea and tick prevention, toys, beds, etc. Also factor in the cost of emergency vet services if your fur baby falls ill or suffers an injury.
- Do you need permission from your landlord?
From the outside, Hong Kong looks very crowded, so every space in the city matters. And though you may be willing to share your own space, be sure to ask permission from relevant authorities such as your landlord, especially if you’re renting a place, in say, a residential building or apartment. This is necessary before you begin the adoption process.
- How often are you home?
It won’t do to just give a pet a place to stay when you won’t be able to be there for them at the very minimum. Just like humans, pets need exercise, bathroom breaks, play time, baths etc. Consider the time you can allot to actually look after or care for them. See point #1.
- Will a pet fit into your family?
If you’re living alone, it’s great to have a pet to keep you company and to grow together with. But if you have a family, consider the dynamics this will bring with your spouse, kids, and other family members. And if you’re living with your family, be sure to consult with them about the decision before actually going through the process.
- What type of pet is right for you?
What are your preferences? Are you a dog or a cat person? Do you like your pets big and scraggly or do you like them small and cute? Depending on your choice, you will need to reconsider all the above points.
- Do you plan to relocate in the near future?
If moving away is on your long-term plans, then make sure that you are willing to adopt a pet FOR LIFE. It won’t do to keep a pet only while it’s convenient for you because they, too, have a life to live and are investing their time and energy on you. Make sure that you are not just an owner to them, but a family who will never abandon them at all cost.
So, if you’ve gone through the guide questions above, and are certain about adopting a pet of your own, here are some rescue organisations in Hong Kong you can get in touch with:
- Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR)
Note: The HKDR’s site is currently under construction. In the meantime, you may visit their Facebook page.
- Hong Kong PAWS (PAWS)
- Lifelong Animal Protection Charity (LAP)
- The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
- Protection of Animals Lantau South (PALS)(currently winding down)
- Kirsten’s Zoo Charity
Be sure to fill out any application forms required for adopting a pet via the organization’s website. You may also inquire regarding the steps you need to take to complete the adoption process including costs, training, and other requirements. Good luck with raising your own pet!