If you’re paw-ndering over getting a pet, let’s make things easier for you…
From fluffy Samoyeds to loyal Boxers, adding a pet to the family is the beginning of a great adventure. After a thorough investigation (and staring at plenty of puppy and kitten pictures), we’ve compiled a list of where to adopt dogs and cats in Hong Kong. While we would always encourage pet adoption, we know that some families out there are looking for a particular breed. So apart from adoption centres, we’ve also prepared a guide to how to identify breeders.
Adopting a dog from a rescue or shelter is a win-win situation for everyone. In Hong Kong, pet turnover is significant. While adoption may mean more time and paperwork, it should be the first step on your pet-searching journey!
Founded in 2003, HKDR offers assistance to dogs through sponsorships and training workshops. Having cared for and re-homed more than 9,500 dogs, it is known for its adoption services. If you’d like to adopt from here, don’t forget to complete its Adoption Questionnaire here. Apart from adoption services, it also accepts donations and welcomes volunteers!
Located in Sai Kung, Catherine’s Puppies is here to offer the help and care our furry friends deserve. Since its rescue shelter opens every day from 11am to 4pm, you’ll have plenty of time to drop by and meet the dogs before making your decision. While planning your visit, be sure to visit its Instagram for regular updates on currently available dogs. For more cute puppy pictures and successful adoption stories, check out its Facebook page!
From care-taking workshops to adoption handbooks, LAP is perfect for first-time pet owners. If you’re unfamiliar with pet adoption, its experienced team will help you through the process. Also, it organises Adoption Days where you can meet the adorable puppies! While you’re taking its adoption quiz here, don’t forget to follow LAP on Facebook and stay tuned for its next Adoption Day.
Lifelong Animal Protection (Cat adoption centre), 11 First Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, 6691 7131, [email protected]
Looking to adopt a pet chinchilla, a turtle, or a guinea pig? With a wide range of species to choose from, the SPCA is the first charity in Hong Kong to deal with all aspects of animal welfare. The adoption process generally requires some paperwork, one or more visit(s) to the adoption centre (depending on the type of pet), and an adoption interview. If you already have another dog at home, its trainers might also schedule a dog-dog meeting to make sure the dogs get along safely! One point to note is that if you are interested in a particular breed, stay in touch with the SPCA. It offers rehoming facilities and a large number of purebreds get surrendered here when their owners relocate or (sadly) when families realise they aren’t up to the commitment of keeping a pet.
The HKCC is an adoption shelter for cats and kittens with monthly adoption events. Caretakers try their best to make sure that the cats are vaccinated, wormed, and neutered. Also, if you’d like to know more about the cat’s health condition, HKCC can arrange appointments for you with the vets it works with. If you’re interested in a kitten (or two), fill in the adoption form here!
Founded in 2008, Kirsten’s Zoo is committed to providing shelter to abandoned or abused animals. To keep all animals safe and healthy, its group of passionate volunteers will perform regular check-ups on the animals. Alternatively, you can also support the organisation through direct donation or volunteering.
This is more than just a leading retailer of healthy and wholesome products for all sorts of pets. Part of its mission is to develop an animal welfare community supporting adoption for dogs, cats, and now, small animals. Whiskers N Paws is the first pet store in Asia to offer adoption services in collaboration with Animal Welfare Organisations (AWOs). Easy access to cat, dog and small animal adoptions is made possible through dedicated in-store homing spaces. So it partners with HKDR for dog adoption, LAP for cat adoption and now, SPCA for the adoption of small animals, including guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits. Since its launch in 2008, it has helped rehome 1800+ dogs, 900+ cats and hopes to do the same with small animals.
Some other animal charities to be aware of in Hong Kong are:
- Hong Kong Paws Foundation
- Animal Friends
- HK Saving Cat and Dog Association
- Hong Kong Society of Herpetology Foundation
Volunteer and Foster
At this point you may be thinking, what can I do if I can’t commit long term? Don’t worry, the options are endless! For instance, through fostering, you will take care of animals that have yet to find their forever homes. If you’re just looking to spend some time with animals without keeping one at home, that’s fine too! Lots of organisations recruit volunteers to walk dogs or help out at the shelters, so there’s something for everyone. Although most animal adoption centres above already offer volunteer opportunities, the fun doesn’t stop there. Check out some of our extra picks for short-term volunteer or foster opportunities!
“Dogs are a man’s (or mama’s, in our case) best friend” isn’t just a catchy phrase – it’s a universally-known fact! So why not spread the fun and joy through Animals Asia’s animal-assisted therapy programme? From orphanages to elderly centres, the Dr Dog Programme provides for those in need with a furry companion. If you’re interested in working with trained therapy dogs, Animals Asia is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to make regular site visits, so read more and sign up now!
Founded in 2012, HKSEDS focuses on the education and professional training of See Eye Dogs. Its services shed light on the needs of physically and mentally impaired communities in Hong Kong. In particular, HKSED’s Puppy Walker Programme is looking for families who can commit to looking after a Seeing Eye Dog puppy at their home. For more information, take a look at its website and see if you’ve got what it takes to be a Puppy Walker!
Hong Kong Seeing Eye Dog Services, Shop S1, 63 Kwai Shing Circuit, Kwai Shing East Estate, Kwai Chung, New Territories, Hong Kong, Service hotline: 8113 2577, General enquiries: 2628 1833, [email protected], www.seeingeyedog.org.hk
Looking for an on-site volunteer opportunity? Located in Yuen Long, SAA’s animal shelter is looking for helpers! If you’re interested in seasonal volunteer opportunities, SAA also recruits event volunteers for its charity sales and fundraisers. So be sure to check out the SAA’s Instagram and Facebook page for regular updates! If you’re all set and determined to help out, fill out its application form here.
If your heart is set on a specific breed and you don’t want to adopt an abandoned older dog, your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. However, it is absolutely important to conduct proper research before selecting a reputable and trustworthy breeder. This is because, if done properly, responsible breeders can improve breed standards by breeding dogs without inherited health problems. Make sure the breeder has a licence from the AFCD and welcomes you visiting the premises and asks you questions in turn. Do read this handy checklist from SPCA and study AFCD’s regulations when it comes to dog breeding and trading to help identify a good breeder.
Many vets we spoke to agreed that dog breeds tend to be a fad. So for a while, some breeds are all the rage and there are a number of breeder hobbyists focusing on breeding and selling that particular type of dog, with little regard to quality or health concerns. If you want a particular breed, it could be a good idea to get in touch with the Hong Kong Kennel Club and follow up with them about top show dogs and their breeders. In this case, the dog is likely to have been bred by a reputed breeder who has consistently paid attention to quality. The importance of show dogs has been explained here by Hong Kong Canine Association-registered Eclipse (which imports and breeds Cavaliers). Grifoncino Labradors is a breeding and post-breed training service that gets consistently good reviews. If you are looking to import breeds from other countries, speak to the importer and discuss the suitability of the Hong Kong climate, the period of quarantine etc. before making up your mind.
Featured image courtesy of Getty, image 1 courtesy of Hong Kong Dog Rescue, image 2 courtesy of Catherine’s Puppies via Instagram, image 3 courtesy of Lifelong Animal Protection via Facebook, image 4 courtesy of Hong Kong Cats Charity via Facebook, image 5 courtesy of Whiskers N Paws, image 6 courtesy of Animals Asia, image 7 courtesy of Grifoncino Labradors.