Living with Pets in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, some married couples prefer to have pets over children because of a variety of reasons. That is why living with pets has been ubiquitous in many Hong Kong families. However, this may only be limited to households that have bigger homes and whose buildings are pet-friendly. This sometimes translates that affluent families have a better chance of making pets. And they should be, because the cost of taking care of dogs or cats can be higher than for humans.
Care for Pets
It's not only money that equates to license to keep pets. It also requires a commitment to take care of these pets all their life and only when they are cute and cuddly. Be prepared to clean a dog's waste when you take it for a walk in the streets. Otherwise, a fine of HK$1,500 awaits you. As Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, an animal welfare group notes, many pet owners are only fond of their wards when they are young and good looking but abandon them when they are old. That's not the way to treat a pet. Remember, a pet is not a toy and shouldn't be handled as one.
Getting A New Pet
SPCA is a place you can get a new pet. I would prefer getting one here rather than on those pet shops where I think (OK, I think!) that owners or their distributors farm their pets for commercial purposes. Think of it as a dog/cat factory selling them as pets. SPCA makes special care for abandoned pets or puppies/kittens of pet owners who can't keep too many offspring of their beloved ones.
If you're an expat moving to Hong Kong and would like to bring your beloved Labrador or chihuahua in your new place of work, pet transport is available. However for certain airlines, if you prefer them, pets can only be placed in cargo if they are bigger than allowed size.
Pet Grooming and Care
There are many pet grooming and care shops sprouting in the city. Veterinarians can also be found around the city. I don't know how much each consultation visit costs but I think Hong Kong people would do everything (and pay how much is charged) to make their pets look good and in best shape.
In recent news items, a notorious dog killer is lurking around the neighborhood of Bowen Road near Mid Levels placing poisoned food in the streets and treating dogs as if they are rats. So extra care should be enforced when walking dogs because it could also be on other areas.
The SPCA says more than 100 dogs in the area have died after eating insecticide-tainted meat left on the roadside and has offered a reward of HK$160,000 for information leading to conviction of the culprit.
I don't know why many parks restrict entry of pets. I wish there will be a special place for these beloved animals. If you live far from that dog park in Wan Chai (photo above) and away from the woods, it may be difficult to let your pet enjoy its environment. After all, it should be both pet owner and pet who should enjoy each other's company.
Photo credits: jmfresta