Looking to bring a loving fur baby into your home? From SPCA, Hong Kong Dog Rescue, LAP and more, we know where to adopt dogs, cats, and small animals. Here’s our guide to pet adoption in Hong Kong.
Have you been pawndering about getting a pet? From fluffy Samoyeds to loyal Boxers, adding a pet to the family is the beginning of a great adventure. Think of all the new pet-friendly spots to explore, not to mention pet-friendly staycations. While we would always encourage pet adoption, some families want a particular breed and temperament — please check rescue centres for surrendered pets first as you may also find what you are looking for there. If you would prefer to buy a pet, we have a handy guide on how to identify quality breeders. The Sassy Mama team has adopted animals from different centres across Hong Kong so many of these recommendations are personal and heartfelt. 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. We hope you find the perfect addition to your family to pamper!
Pet Adoption And Fostering In Hong Kong
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!
Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR) – Dog adoption in Hong Kong
Founded in 2003, Hong Kong Dog Resure (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. Leila (pictured above), now a proud Sassy Mama family dog, was adopted from Hong Kong Dog Rescue too! If you’d like to adopt from here, don’t forget to complete its Adoption Questionnaire here. Apart from dog adoption services, it also accepts donations and welcomes volunteers!
Hong Kong Dog Rescue – Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre (for smaller dogs and puppies), Shop A, G/F, 5 Wai Fung Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong
Catherine’s Puppies – Dog and puppy adoption in Hong Kong
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 (be sure to check visiting hours with the current social distancing restrictions). 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! Though called Catherine’s Puppies, the shelter has a lot of surrendered old dogs as well.
LAP – Cat and dog adoption in Hong Kong
From care-taking workshops to adoption handbooks, Lifelong Animal Protection (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 and claims that every day is Adoption Day at any of its centres! While you’re taking its adoption quiz here, don’t forget to follow LAP on Facebook and stay tuned for new initiatives. Sassy Mama cat, Tango (pictured above) and his brother Mango, were adopted from LAP.
SPCA – Cat, dog, and small animal adoption
Looking to adopt a pet chinchilla, a turtle, or a guinea pig? With a wide range of species to choose from, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (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.
Sai Kung Stray Friends – Dog adoption
At any given time Sai Kung Stray Friends looks after over a hundred dogs all awaiting their forever home. As well as looking after pups until they are adopted, the volunteers also deliver meals to many of the loosely-owned local village dogs as well as trapping and spaying stray dogs across the New Territories. Check out the adoption page for details of current residents. If you can’t commit to adopting, you can always volunteer, donate or sponsor a specific dog.
Whiskers N Paws – Cat, dog, and small animal adoption
This is more than just a leading retailer of healthy and wholesome products for all sorts of pets. Part of the Whiskers N Paws 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 pet adoption services in collaboration with Animal Welfare Organisations (AWOs). Cat, dog and small animal adoptions are 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.
Kirsten’s Zoo – Cat, dog, and small animal adoption
Founded in 2008, Kirsten’s Zoo is committed to providing shelter to abandoned or abused animals. Its group of passionate volunteers will check that animals are spayed and have all the necessary medical care. These animals are fostered until they are adopted. If you are not considering fostering or adopting, you can also support the organisation through direct donation or volunteering.
Hong Kong Paws – Cat and dog adoption
Though Hong Kong Paws started work in 2005, it was formally established and registered as an animal welfare society in 2011. It works with local animal shelters to provide financial aid, animal care consultation and rehoming services. Sassy Mama team members have fostered many puppies from Hong Kong Paws before they went on to find their forever homes. Fill in the necessary forms if you would like to adopt or foster a dog or cat.
Some other animal organisations in Hong Kong that offer pet adoptions:
- HK Saving Cat and Dog Association – Provides food, medical treatment, sterilisation and adoption services for stray cats and dogs since 2007, www.hkscda.com
- Hong Kong Society of Herpetology Foundation – Focuses on amphibians and reptiles and has adoption services and community outreach programs, www.hkherp.org.hk
- TAILS Lantau – Cat and dog adoption and foster care, www.tailslantau.org
- Home For Homeless Dogs – Focuses mainly on senior dogs who often get overlooked by potential owners, www.hfhd.org
- Hong Kong Cats Charity (HKCC) – Adoption shelter for cats and kittens with monthly adoption events, www.hongkongcats.org
Volunteering With Hong Kong Animal Shelters
If you’re just looking to spend some time with animals without keeping one at home, there are lots of organisations looking to recruit volunteers to walk dogs or help out at the shelters. Although most animal adoption centres above already offer volunteer opportunities, there are a few more options as well. Check out some of our extra picks for short-term volunteer opportunities! Another option to help is via donations as most of the shelters mentioned as well as the other charitable organisations mentioned below rely on generous donations.
- Animals Asia – Provides animal-assisted therapy to those in need with a furry companion, www.animalsasia.org
- Hong Kong Seeing Eye Dog Services (HKSEDS) – Focuses on the education and professional training of See Eye Dogs and sheds light on the needs of physically and mentally impaired communities in Hong Kong, www.seeingeyedog.org.hk
- Society for Abandoned Animals (SAA) – Recruits event volunteers for its charity sales and fundraisers and you can also choose to sponsor the cost of food, medicines and shelter for abandoned animals, www.saa.org.hk
Dog Breeders In Hong Kong
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. 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. In these cases, there is often little regard to quality or health concerns.
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, 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.
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 Hong Kong Canine Association-registered Eclipse (which imports and breeds Cavaliers) and Grifoncino Labradors get consistently good reviews. If you are looking to import breeds from other countries, speak to the importer first. Discuss the suitability of the Hong Kong climate, the period of quarantine etc. before making up your mind.
Read more: 50 Things To Do With Kids In Hong Kong
Editor’s note: This post was originally published by Lydia Ching in November 2019 and updated most recently by Fashila Kanakka in March 2022.