24-6-2016,SPCA (HK) Celebrates 95 Years of Animal Welfare Protection

(Hong Kong, 24 June 2016) Yesterday, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Hong Kong) (“SPCA (HK)” or “the Society”) proudly celebrated the 95th anniversary of its official establishment. This milestone commemorates the SPCA’s role and contributions as the first, oldest and largest charitable organisation in Hong Kong concerned with all aspects of animal welfare. 

Promoting Animal Welfare in Hong Kong for 95 Years

Volunteers began organising in Hong Kong in 1903 before officially establishing the SPCA (HK) on June 23, 1921. Their mission was to promote kindness to animals; to protect their health and welfare; to prevent animal cruelty; and, through education, to inspire in the community a deep respect for the life of all living creatures so that they could  live together in harmony.

In the 95 years since, the SPCA (HK) has served the Hong Kong community as an advocate, educator and animal physician. The Society now has more than 25,000 members, with around 200 staff, annually handling over 16,000 community or abandoned animals through its various welfare programmes (These include: animal rescue; animal adoption; Cat Colony Care Programme and Free Mongrel Desexing Programme). In addition, through SPCA's seven clinics located throughout the HKSAR, a mobile clinic and an animal welfare vehicle, the Society’s veterinary team conducts more than 70,000 procedures each year to enable animals to live happy and healthy lives.

In recent years, the SPCA (HK) has also successfully participated in a number of high profile animal welfare campaigns including Say No to Fur; Sharkfin – No Soup – No Suffering; and Boycott the Bad Breeder. The Society has also played a key role in advocating for the banning of wildlife and ivory trade; lobbying the government to allow pet ownership in public housing; and organising birth control for stray cats. 

SPCA Executive Director Ms Alice Choi said, “While Hong Kong has undergone tremendous change since the SPCA (HK) was founded, we have stayed true to our mission. We could not have reached this milestone without our dedicated volunteers, generous patrons and unfailing community support. We look forward to building on this legacy as we continue our work championing the cause of animal welfare in Hong Kong.”

Expanded Services to Meet Changing Needs of the Community

As the needs of the people and animals it serves have changed, the SPCA (HK)’s work in Hong Kong has expanded to cover six main areas: Animal Rescue and Cruelty Prevention; Animal Birth Control; Animal Adoption; Pet Health Promotion; Animal Welfare Education; and Animal Welfare Advocacy – particularly lobbying for progressive legislative and policy change.

“Our staff and volunteers are involved in all aspects of animal welfare from inspection to care to education. This puts us in a unique position to observe and respond to the evolving needs of our community, and to make a critical difference for animals who are neglected, abandoned or abused.” Ms Choi added.

Going forward, the SPCA (HK) will continue to strengthen its efforts in two areas: education and advocacy. 

Education will focus on encouraging compassion by explaining and exploring animals’ intelligence and sympathies. The Society will offer more talks and educational programmes for schools, corporations and the community. It will also provide more tours and classes at its Wan Chai Headquarter on animals, their needs, and how to take care of them. 

Advocacy will focus on raising awareness of animal welfare issues amongst the public and government, asking for more robust legal administration and demanding the imposition of higher penalties for animal cruelty.  This will include campaigns to follow up on the recently proposed amendments to regulate pet trading and breeding under CAP 139B Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Animal Traders) Regulations.  

95th Anniversary Commemorative Coin

To commemorate its first 95 years, the SPCA (HK) will launch a specially designed “95th Anniversary Commemorative Coin” featuring drawings by local animal illustrator Ballzi and the slogan, “Protecting Animal Welfare for 95 years”. 

Donors will receive one Commemorative Coin for every $500 given. Designs and instructions for how to donate can be found at http://www.spca.org.hk/en/join-us/event/flagday2016#goldcoin. Collect this valuable commemorative coin and join hands with us to help with animal welfare.

New Flagship Centre Planned for Tsing Yi

In time to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2021, the SPCA (HK) plans to open a new flagship centre in Tsing Yi with dedicated facilities for community outreach and animal care. The location of the new facility has been especially chosen to allow the Society to offer new initiatives and programmes on humane education in the New Territories; to conduct more-timely rescue operations; to expand its veterinary services; and to explore more adoption opportunities. For this to take place, the SPCA (HK) will need to ensure that sufficient fundraising is in place before construction begins. A fundraising campaign will be launched soon to seek support.

Ms Choi concluded, “Thanks in large part to the SPCA (HK), Hong Kong people view animals much differently from 95 years ago. We are thrilled to celebrate our 95th anniversary and to commemorate the Society’s many achievements. Of course, there is still much work to be done and we are grateful for Hong Kong people’s continuing support of our mission to build a caring and respectful community where people and animals can live happily together.”