Pawprint Magazine

Published by the SPCA, Pawprint is an animal welfare magazine that highlights the latest work of the SPCA and membership activities, as well as current animal welfare issues.

Pawprint is published three times a year – February, May and August, and is available in both Chinese and English. As a member privilege, SPCA members enjoy a free subscription to Pawprint. For members of the public, however, the magazine is available online in PDF format.

If you are a member and wish to change the language preference for your Pawprint subscription, please contact our Membership Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 2232 5548.

If you are a representative of a Hong Kong school and would like to subscribe to Pawprint, please contact our Education Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Issue 98 - 2015/08 2015/10

Issue 98 - 2015/5 2015/10

Contents

  • Words of the Executive Director 1
  • Views of an SPCA Volunteer Shadow Chan 1
  • Notes from ExCo Derek Kwik 2
  • Notice board 3 - 4
  • Cover story Education: The path to creating a better future for animals 5 - 9
  • Feature Trap, Neuter, Return and Care 10 - 11
  • Inspectorate SPCA Case Files 12 - 13
  • Veterinary Vet Facts 14
    Vet’s Case Book 15
    Vet Tips 16 - 17
  • At the frontline Karl Mak, Danielle Baber, Anny Mok, Dr Matt Downy 18 - 19
  • SPCA update "Care for Animals and Respect Life" Mini-movie Charity Screening 20
    Geriatric Cat Care Workshops 20
  • Handling Animals Humanely – Seminar 22
  • China Outreach
  • Happy endings  Dou Dou and Emmy start new lives 24
  • Awaiting adoption Samiya, Mocha, Ng Tung, Roxy and Bear  25
  • Members’ corner Events from August to November 26 - 27
  • Kids' corner Be a smart kid: Say no to animal shows 28 - 29

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(text only content)

  • Words from the Executive Director                                                         1

    Dear Members,

     

    I took over from Mr Steven Calpin as the Executive Director of the SPCA in March and am very happy to have this opportunity of writing to you, and to start with some good news.

     

    In our last issue of Pawprint we talked of the urgent need to find homes for our long stayers, in particular Mung Chu, a nine-year-old Labrador crossbreed who had been with us in kennels for almost three years, and Jock, a mixed breed who featured on our back cover. I am delighted to tell you that both Mung Chu and Jock have finally found new homes. This is greatly encouraging for our homing team who put in such a lot of effort and hard work.

     

    In issues 96 and 97 we explained two parts of our strategy for achieving the goal of Zero Surplus: Animal Birth Control and Adoption. In this issue, we focus on the third element: Education. Education is an important means for the SPCA to achieve better welfare for animals in the community as human behaviour has a direct impact on animal well-being.

     

    Since its inception, the Society has been educating the public on animal care and welfare, and in many cases this has meant changing mindsets. To accomplish this, we arrange creative educational programmes and talks for schools and the public, reaching audiences of almost 50,000 people a year. Our recent three-day Pet Adoptathon brought a record number of visitors to see our homing animals and offered workshops and seminars on topics such as behaviour and grooming so that our visitors left with a better understanding of the needs of their cats and dogs.

     

    Each department at the SPCA plays its role, whether through special programmes and activities or during its daily operations. Our Veterinary Department attends carnivals providing free health checks and educating pet owners. Inspectors visit rural villages, shelters and pet shops and educate those they come in contact with on welfare issues and the importance of animal birth control. Our latest notable animal welfare education events have included our Peng Chau and Cheung Chau awareness weeks, which drew attention to the need to curb the increase in animal populations, and the school and community talks on Cheung Chau.

     

    A recent partnership with Tencent in the production of nine micro-films on different animal welfare issues raised awareness of animal well-being in audiences in both Hong Kong and China.

     

    Leaflets about our welfare programmes, which include the Mongrel Desexing Programme (MDP) and the Cat Colony Care Programme (CCCP), stress the importance of desexing and responsible pet ownership, and our regular newsletter Pawprint offers extensive in-depth information on pet health and care. Additionally, we organise workshops for corporations and public organisations whose work brings them in contact with wild or feral animals.

     

    Our Team and I are committed to promoting the highest level of animal welfare in the community through education.

     

    Bernd Hanemann

    Executive Director of the SPCA
     

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  • Views of an SPCA Volunteer

     

    Shadow Chan has been an SPCA volunteer for about four years. He first began by providing administrative support and helping with fundraising events, then last year he applied to be a dog walker. Shadow is also a graduate of the Paw Pal Programme, which is designed to enable experienced volunteers to learn more about the positive approach to animal learning and behaviour, and thus increase their adoptability into new homes.

     

    Before and after

    “I used to eat foie gras and shark fin, but now I don’t,” says Shadow. He has changed some of his habits after learning more about animal welfare and behaviour through information and training received at the SPCA. He tells his friends about his experience as a volunteer and encourages adoption by introducing friends who are interested in keeping pets to animals awaiting new homes. He brings friends to visit our kennels and invites them to be volunteers. In this way, he explains our vision and mission, encourages adoption and promotes the importance of animal welfare.

     

    Reasons for supporting the SPCA

    Shadow has volunteered in different animal organisations and thinks that the SPCA provides a better environment and more resources for animals. “Other animal organisations can only house them together. Here, each dog has its own very hygienic ‘room’.” Shadow also acknowledges the high standard of animal welfare in the SPCA. Besides daily cleaning and disinfecting of  living areas, kennel keepers gives the animals basic behavioural training and make sure that they have enough exercise to meet their physical and psychological needs.

     


     

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  • Notes from ExCo                       Derek Kwik                                                                                                   2

    I was born and raised in Hong Kong, and have always loved animals. My family shared our home in Pokfulam with my domestic pets – dogs, birds, turtles – and a menagerie of wildlife that I took in including stray cats and dogs, a pigeon and even a hawk. Always the smallest kid in school, I was often bullied and as a consequence my self-confidence suffered. I found my pillar of confidence to be in sports, becoming an intercollegiate martial arts champion, skydiver, triathlete and a PADI-certified Divemaster. I have been a member of the SPCA for 36 years. Animals have no voice and are also victims of bullying. So in 2004, I decided to lead by example and take my talents to the SPCA to help animal welfare.

     

    I am the first Chinese person to have run across the world’s highest, driest, hottest and coldest deserts. In total, I have crossed nine deserts, four jungles and two mountains.

    As an ultra-marathon runner, during my preparation I remind myself that training is a one-year commitment but animal welfare is a lifetime promise. I share my highest highs and lowest lows by speaking at corporate events and children’s schools. I have also published two books and along with my running, donated the proceeds to the SPCA.

    I joined ExCo in 2013, bringing 25 years of professional experience in investing and building companies, to help re-structure the organisation to increase operational efficiency, update IT infrastructure, improve HR and staffing, refine profitability and help to create a happy workplace. Now into my second ExCo term, I share the

    Co-Chairman and Trustee role with Jacqueline Kwan. In ExCo, we are very hands on and are willing to roll up our sleeves to get things done. Don’t wait – the time will never be just right!

     

    Derek Kwik


     

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  • Notice board                                                                                                                                          3 - 4

    Renovated Pet Boarding Service

     

    The Society has renovated its boarding service for cats and dogs, which it provides exclusively to members. An air-conditioned, well-ventilated and sound-proofed environment is offered in both kennels and cattery. Connecting cages are also available on request. Our kennel staff exercise and play with boarding animals on a daily basis and monitor their food and water intake, toilet habits and demeanour. Our veterinary team provide strong support for any emergency to give you the all-important peace of mind while you are away from home.

     

    Bookings can be made up to three months in advance.

    For more details, please call 2232 5501 or check our website www.spca.org.hk.

     

     

    Fit for Duty! by Crocodile Garments Ltd.

     

    The SPCA’s Inspectorate is a frontline department which works around the clock to rescue animals all over Hong Kong. It also protects them through inspections, education and investigations. The vision the Inspectorate projects is one of an international, elite animal welfare unit playing a leading and exemplary role for its counterparts in Asia.

     

    Earlier this year, Crocodile Garments Ltd. kindly donated 200 uniforms to the Inspectorate comprising a total of 1,400 garments. The estimated value of the uniforms is more than HKD200,000. We wish to express our very sincere thanks to Crocodile Garments for providing our Inspectors with outfits which are both comfortable and can be worn with pride! 

     

     

    Long Service Awards for SPCA Staff

     

    The SPCA Annual Dinner, held on 20 March 2015, was a very joyous occasion, gathering together almost all the SPCA staff. During the course of the evening, awards were given to 20 devoted staff members for long service; they had each worked at the SPCA for between 10 and 25 years. Deep gratitude was expressed to our Assistant Customer Service Manager, Amy Chan, and cleaner of our Wanchai Headquarters, Fu Yuen Sau, for the outstanding service they both have given to the SPCA for 25 years.

     

    The Society would like to take this opportunity also to express grateful thanks to all SPCA staff for their hard work and commitment to the well-being of the animals that pass through our doors. Only by working together we can build a better future for animals in need!

     

     

    Volunteer Party 2015

     

    The annual SPCA Volunteer Party was held on 8 May in The Harbourview, Wanchai. More than 160 volunteers were invited to the party, where delicious food, excellent wines, some amusing games, a lucky draw and plenty of comraderie made for a very happy evening. This annual gathering gives volunteers the chance to meet and share their experiences with other volunteers whom they might not otherwise get to know.

     

    This year, 10 volunteers received an Outstanding Volunteer Award in recognition of the time and effort they devote to the SPCA. We would like to take the opportunity here to express our heartfelt thanks to all volunteers for their continuous support in helping us with the many animals which rely on our assistance.


     

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  • Cover story                                  Education: The path to creating a better future for animals                    5 - 9

    The path to creating a better future for animals

     

    When we think of education we tend to think of the classroom, but this is not the only environment in which we learn.

    Education can be attained in many ways: through listening, observation, reading and experience. Animal welfare education is no exception and each department of the SPCA is involved in educating the public in different ways. 

     

    Education Department

    Over the past 10 years, the SPCA’s Education Department has taken its talks on animal welfare to a greater number and variety of audiences – from kindergartens and primary and secondary schools to adults, corporations and even estate residents.

    The talks are now more interactive and are complemented by competitions and exhibitions which the department organises around the city, raising awareness that animals are sentient beings and deserve our respect and care.

    The department has also developed and distributed two important bilingual, easy-to-read learning tools: the first on Humane Education (2007) and the second, a children’s kit on Responsible Pet Ownership (2014). Their contents cover a wide range of topics from basic animal kingdom facts, such as lifecycles, to sophisticated welfare issues and the responsibilities inherent in owning pets. They are frequently supplemented with workshops for teachers, parents and children.

    As the main concern of the department is animal welfare education for students, it helps also with school projects and writes articles for children’s magazines and newspapers. 

    Veterinary Department

    The educational focus of the Veterinary Department is on instructing owners in pet care and animal health, with an emphasis on preventive medicine. It introduces owners to SPCA healthcare programmes, such as the wellness clinics, the forthcoming “Bright Smile” dental campaign and obesity-control plans, etc.

    The department also has a useful presence in the community at events such as carnivals where animal health checks are offered as a means of educating owners who may not be SPCA members. Veterinary staff members also write pet health articles for our newsletter Pawprint, and they participate in interviews conducted by secondary or university students and answer press interest on pet-related topics. Our vets and vet nurses give many seminars on topics such as how to care for senior dogs and cats, pet first aid, pet nutrition and pet 101 for domestic helpers.

    Welfare Department

    A key focus of the Welfare Department is to lobby the Hong Kong government to reform, update, and strengthen animal welfare laws and regulations. Campaigns spanning a broad spectrum of animal welfare issues are promoted in the media to educate the public and garner support for legislative reform. “Boycott the Bad Breeder”, “Say No to Fur”, and “Shark Fin: No Soup–No Suffering” have received not only significant media attention but raised considerable public awareness and a deeper understanding of the importance of these issues for our society.

    The SPCA’s popular annual “Pet Adoptathon” is a major event through which we promote the concepts of “Adopt, Don’t Buy” as well as Responsible Pet Ownership. Pet neutering is another fundamental pillar of our mission to advance animal welfare. By teaching owners that desexing is a critical aspect of Responsible Pet Ownership – especially those owners who allow their animals to roam freely on the streets – and that desexing protects both the well-being of their pet and promotes societal harmony, we aim to break the vicious cycle of uncontrolled reproduction and animal abandonment.

    The Welfare Department also gives advice, help and training to local animal shelters, the private sector, and public and governmental organisations in an unflagging effort to fight for improved animal welfare standards, not just in Hong Kong but also in greater China.

     

    Inspectorate

    The Inspectorate team works at the front line to rescue and help animals in need, and is in frequent contact with the public. When handling complaints or patrolling at wet markets and pet shops, our inspectors always carefully explain the concept of animal welfare to people they meet, whether they are giving advice, warnings or even prosecution charges for owned pets, abandoned pets, wild animals, or farm stock.

    As Asia’s oldest Inspectorate, our inspectors often conduct training courses or workshops to share their professional knowledge and skills with local and regional government agencies and corporations, such as the Hong Kong Police, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the MTR. They also participate in educational programmes in schools and villages, as well as running their own youth outreach programme, the Cadet Inspector Corps, to give 16- to 17-year-old teenagers practical experience of animal welfare.

    Marketing and Communications Department

    To enhance the educational work of the Society, the Marketing and Communications Department collaborates with different SPCA departments to publicise animal welfare campaigns and programmes.

    Using social media and creative marketing, the department’s teams work closely together to turn relatively complex welfare concepts into easy-to-understand language, not just in Pawprint but also in programme leaflets and posters, and animal welfare pamphlets. Carnivals in housing estates and the community at large are organised to provide a platform where different SPCA departments can educate the public directly.

    China Outreach Department

    The SPCA has worked with veterinary bodies and schools in mainland China since the 1990s and in 2008 founded the China Outreach Department to extend its animal welfare effort.

    We took humane education to schools in Xiamen in 2009 and have now extended its reach to more than 16,700 students at primary and secondary schools in Guangzhou. In 2015, the SPCA officially entered China through a partnership with a local homing centre in Shenzhen, allowing us to accelerate our educational efforts on the mainland not just to the young but to the general population.

    Internal Education

    The Society also places great importance on enhancing knowledge among our own staff. We believe that equipping staff members with better knowledge ultimately benefits the animals and the community.

    Our vets are encouraged to attend continuous professional development courses and veterinary conferences to keep  themselves updated; our veterinary nurses and assistants are subsidised to study well-recognised veterinary nursing courses. In-house seminars and web-based learning through Veterinary Information Network (VIN) are also offered to the team to raise our service standard. Besides teaching basic skills in animal care, the Welfare Department also trains staff from different departments in a variety of skills and knowledge, from animal behaviour and welfare, grooming, customer service, animal first aid to occupational safety and health. Staff are encouraged to attend conferences and seminars, and occasionally overseas training.

    Back office staff are trained in animal knowledge, welfare, customer service and management skills; while the inspectors receive technical and welfare training to improve their skill set and confidence in animal rescue, prosecution investigation and cruelty prevention.

    From Education to Zero Animal Suffering

    In these last three issues of Pawprint, we have explained our three-pronged approach to achieving the goal of Zero Surplus, namely Animal Birth Control, Adoption and Education.

    Education is the most sustainable approach as it tackles the problem related to animal welfare at it origin – people. Only when people respect life and accept the right of other living creatures to exist in the community will the ultimate goal of Zero Animal Suffering be fulfilled.

    The SPCA cannot do this alone.

    We need your help. You can provide this by spreading the messages in these issues of Pawprint, supporting our animal welfare work, or simply introducing our homing animals to your friends and family.

     

    Together we can be the voice of animals and stop their suffering.
      

     

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  • Inspectorate                               SPCA Case Files                                                                                               12 - 13

    SPCA CASE FILES

     

    “Animal cruelty is a crime ! ”

     

    Inspectorate figures at a glance January to March 2015

     

    Hotline calls received                8,729

    Animals handled            988

    Animals rescued          452

    Complaints investigated    342

    Pet shops inspected           57

    Wet markets inspected      167

     

    01

    January

    Some cats love climbing and end up getting stuck in awkward places. This poor, grey tabby was found clinging in the dark to the outside of a metal security screen on the 22nd floor of a public housing estate building in Tuen Mun. SPCA inspectors managed to rescue it using a cat-catching net and transferred it to the SPCA hospital for a check-up.

    It was later rehomed.

     

    02

    January

    In June 2014, a Pekingese crossbreed was found dead inside a cubicle in Tai Kok Tsui. It was unattended. The dog’s owner was later convicted of “Cruelty to Animals” and in January was sentenced to be admitted to a drug addiction treatment centre. This is an extreme example of a problem that is all too common in Hong Kong where animals suffer as a result of neglect.

     

    03

    January

    In June 2014, two Sharpei dogs were discovered chained in a messy and unsafe environment on the roof of a building in Jordan. The owner was convicted in January 2015 of “Cruelty to Animals” and fined $4,000. Both dogs were looked after by the SPCA pending the court case. One dog has since been rehomed while the other remains waiting at the Kowloon Centre.

     

    04

    January

    Another case of neglect, this time of cats, resulted in imprisonment. In October 2014, seven cats were found in a cubicle in Tai Kok Tsui without food or water. The owner was convicted in January of “Cruelty to Animals”, sentenced to two months’ imprisonment and fined $5,000. All seven cats were examined, treated and taken care of by the SPCA and later rehomed.

     

    05

    February

    In August 2014, this little dog was struck by a man with a stick in a Sham Shui Po back lane and sustained an injury to its left eye. The owner witnessed the scene. The man was convicted of “Cruelty to Animals” in February, sentenced to 14 days’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and fined $3,000. The dog was returned to its owner after treatment at the SPCA.

    06

    February

    In June 2014, two cats were found on a little-used path on The Peak chained by their necks to their padlocked cages. They had been left there by a taxi driver who was later convicted of “Cruelty to Animals” and in February 2015 sentenced to nine weeks’ imprisonment. The cats were treated and cared for by the SPCA pending the court case and later rehomed.

    07

    February

    It is unlawful to use snare traps in Hong Kong. They are cruel and can cause horrible injuries to anything that steps on them. But their use continues. This dog found in Fanling earlier this year was lucky. Rescue came quickly before its injury was made worse. Inspectors opened the trap and took the dog to the SPCA for treatment before locating the owner and returning the dog.

    08

    March

    Sea Turtle populations worldwide are declining and most species are considered threatened. Turtles are not often seen on our shores, so this one found on a beach in Sheung Sze Wan, Clear Water Bay, was cause for interest. Unfortunately, it had a cracked shell and a cut, possibly caused by marine craft. SPCA Inspectors transferred it to Ocean Park for treatment.


     

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  • Veterinary                                   Vet Facts                                                                                           14

    Feline

    Hyperthyroidism

    Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine (hormone) disorder that affects middle-aged to older cats (generally 8 years or above). Hyperthyroidism is often missed by owners as affected cats can seem very bright, lively and healthy. Unfortunately, this is often far from the truth, and as with many diseases the earlier the diagnosis the better!

    What is the thyroid gland?

    The thyroid is small gland found in the front of the neck that produces thyroid hormone (thyroxine), which regulates the body’s metabolic rate and affects every system in the body.

    What causes hyperthyroidism?

    Hyperthyroidism is caused by a benign increase in the size and activity of the thyroid gland. Its occurrence has increased dramatically in the past few years, nobody knows for sure why, but many factors are likely to be involved.

    What are the signs of hyperthyroidism?

    There are a great variety of clinical signs, but 90% of cats lose weight. They often eat, drink and urinate more, have increased activity, nervousness and can develop gastro-intestinal (vomiting and diarrhoea) and cardiovascular signs, including increased heart rate and high blood pressure. The coat can be unkempt because the cat no longer grooms itself properly and some cats develop muscle tremors and lethargy.

    My cat seems fine, isn’t it OK just to let him/her eat more?

    NO!

    The raised heart rate and blood pressure can cause very serious effects, including blindness, renal disease and heart failure.

    How is feline hyperthyroidism diagnosed?

    On examination it may be possible to feel a lump in the throat (although not always), in addition an increased heart rate can point to a possible diagnosis coupled with the other clinical signs mentioned above. These suspicions can be confirmed by a simple blood test to measure thyroxine levels.

    Can it be treated?

    YES!

    Medication is usually very effective, with regular check-ups and blood tests scheduled to ensure the treatment is working. Alternatively, surgery can be considered in cats with palpably enlarged glands (especially those that are difficult to give tablets to).

     

    Dr Matt Downey,

    Assistant Senior Veterinary Surgeon (Hong Kong)

     

    Our feline senior wellness checks (7 years and above) now include

    a thyroid test to aid early diagnosis of this very treatable disease.

    For more information please call 2802 0501 or visit our website at:

    http://www.spca.org.hk/en/veterinary/wellness-clinics

     

    Dr Adam West
    Senior Veterinary Surgeon   

     

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  • Veterinary      Vet’s Case Book                                                      14 – 15

     

    Early Diagnosis of Feline Renal Disease:

    The Key to a Happier, Healthier and Longer Life!

    “Mimi” a 13-year-old, female domestic short-haired cat was brought for a routine check at a wellness clinic*. She had been relatively healthy for the previous 12 months, but had now lost around 200g over a three-month period. Her owner reported no other issues apart from bad breath.

    Clinical examination of Mimi revealed no major abnormalities and her blood pressure was normal. The only problems encountered were moderate amounts of tartar on her teeth and overgrown claws, which the vet was able to trim.

    Blood, urine and faeces samples were analysed. The faeces were normal, but bloods showed slightly raised kidney enzymes (urea and creatinine) and Mimi’s urine was a little diluted. Urea and creatinine are waste products of metabolism, normally excreted by the kidneys, and are present in low levels in the blood. The vet suspected early renal disease, so urine was sent away for bacterial culture to rule out infection and her kidneys were scanned using ultrasound.

    The kidney scan was normal (no sign of tumours or serious destruction of kidney tissue) and the culture showed that there was no infection in the urinary tract. The vet decided the best course of action was to feed Mimi exclusively on a prescription renal diet. Thankfully, she really liked the food and there was no problem in gradually changing from the previous diet.

    After three months she returned for a repeat blood test, which showed that the levels of urea and creatinine had improved slightly. While Mimi’s kidney function will be no better than at original examination, the special diet (with reduced protein and phosphorous) places less strain on her kidneys. Her owner reported Mimi seemed happier and the good news was her weight was stable.

    Mimi was booked for a dental procedure to address the bad breath. She was given intravenous fluids to support her kidneys and under anaesthesia had two rotten teeth extracted and her remaining teeth scaled and polished. The next day she was eating normally and her owner was very happy as her breath had greatly improved.

    While Mimi cannot be given new kidneys, having an early diagnosis allows measures to be put in place to slow the progression of her illness. She will require checks every three to six months and as her disease progresses other treatments may need to be added such as supplements, subcutaneous fluids (fluid injections under her skin) and blood pressure medications. The most important thing is to ensure her quality of life is good and she lives out her days as a happy and healthy feline!

     

    Dr Matt Downey,

    Assistant Senior Veterinary Surgeon (Hong Kong)

     

    * Wellness Clinics

    Offer a comprehensive annual health check which includes a thorough clinical examination, blood pressure measurement and laboratory tests. This enables early detection of disease to help nip any problem in the bud or at least slow its progress. From 11 May to 11 August we are offering a special promotion for all wellness clinics. For more details please call

    2802 0501 or visit our website at:

    http://www.spca.org.hk/en/veterinary/wellness-clinics
      

     

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  • Veterinary      Vet Tips                                                                     16 – 17

    Having fun in the sun!

     

    How to keep your pet healthy and happy this summer!

    Summer is a wonderful time of year but not without its hazards for your pet. This is particularly true for dogs, as cats are commonly kept indoors in a more stable environment, whatever the season.

    Here is a list of some summer risk factors and ways to avoid them – prevention, as we stress here, is always better than cure!

    The Heat

    Heatstroke is a potent and not uncommon killer in Hong Kong. Dogs lose heat by allowing water to evaporate from their tongue when panting – this is difficult in Hong Kong’s high humidity. Be very careful with exercise – shorter walks in the cooler part of the day are best. Short-nosed dogs like pugs and overweight dogs are particularly at risk. If you think your dog is suffering from heat stress, treat this as an emergency by stopping exercise immediately and seeking veterinary care. Dogs should never be left in cars in summer. A short haircut for the summer can definitely help make your dog more comfortable along with a diet if overweight!

    The Summer BBQ

    Dogs love a family barbecue but overdoing the greasy food can cause gastroenteritis or even a life-threatening pancreatitis. Bones and sharp barbecue sticks can be dangerous foreign bodies if ingested, as can corn cobs, so be very careful when disposing of such items and always avoid being overgenerous with the food no matter how much they beg!

    Sunburn

    This one does relate more to cats. Sunbathing at home – which cats love of course – can be hazardous if done to excess. Sunburn of the skin is rare in animals because of their fur but the ears of white cats are at particular risk. Excessive sun can cause a nasty cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) to develop on their ears. Limit their time in the sun for their own good or apply sunblock!

    Screw Worm

    This very unpleasant species of fly is far more active in hot, wet weather. It lays eggs on inflamed or infected tissue and its larvae hatch and literally start “eating” living flesh, causing great pain and potentially a life-threatening wound. Skin sores, infected ears and dirty hindquarters are all potential targets and should be treated medically as soon as they are detected.

    Ticks

    Ticks are also more active in the summer and country walks may increase their chances of latching onto a dog. Ticks can cause “Tick Fevers” by transmitting microbes to the dog which attack red blood cells, with potentially fatal results. Tick prevention in the form of collars or spot-on medications should be used all year round but with particular care in the summer.

    Leptospirosis

    The eagerness of a dog when hot to leap into stagnant water can expose him to this disease, which is contracted from the urine of rats. This is a life-threatening disease that can be transmitted to humans too. Particular hotspots in Hong Kong seem to be around The Peak, Yuen Long and Sai Kung. Ensure that your dog is vaccinated regularly (that is at least yearly) against this disease.

    Snakes

    Like all reptiles, snakes are more active in warmer weather and may strike a dog if provoked. Take care with country hikes and seek veterinary help immediately if you think a snake bite has occurred. If possible identify the snake (try and take a photo) but never put yourself or other humans at risk to achieve this. Try and keep the dog calm – if possible carry him to the nearest vehicle to avoid further exercise as this may encourage the toxin to spread faster. Sucking out the poison and using tourniquets are not proven to work and should NOT be performed.

    Other Dogs

    Your dog is perhaps more likely to meet other dogs in the summer – on a hike, on the beach or in the dog park, etc. Fights and unwanted pregnancies are possible if care is not taken. Of course, having your dog desexed reduces the chances of one and eliminates the risk of the other.

     

    Dr Adam West

    Senior Veterinary Surgeon
     

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  • At the front line   Dr Teresa Lee, Vivian Or, Law Ho Tak and Ivan Ip   18 – 19

    Karl mak

    Deputy Director, Inspectorate

     

    Always having wanted to work at the front line to help and protect animals, Karl joined the Society’s Inspectorate in February 2015. Bringing previous experience in management with him, he aims to lead the Inspectorate as a professional team and to protect the well-being of animals.

    “I will join the daily operation of the inspectors when I am available to do so, so as to observe and to know more about their work and the difficulties they face. The Inspectorate is a very unique and professional team in Hong Kong. They work very hard 24/7 for the sake of the animals and I want to show my respect and support.”

    Having two senior dogs at home, Karl says it is always hard to look away from the lovely homing animals in the kennels. “However, it is important to think carefully and consider well before having a pet as it is a lifelong promise.”   

    Danielle Baber

    Deputy Chief Officer, Inspectorate

    After working for the Royal Society for the Prevention to Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) as an inspector since 1999,

    Danielle moved to Hong Kong with her family and joined the SPCA Inspectorate in March 2015. With her experience and passion for animals, Danielle is now getting used to her new

    role here.

    “A skinny dog in the UK is much the same as a skinny dog in Hong Kong, but the handling procedures and the legislation are different so I need to familiarise myself with them. And I think lobbying is definitely needed to make some changes, the CAP 169 (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance) is not a perfect piece of law. But generally the level of cruelty here is much lower.”

    After work, Danielle enjoys her new Hong Kong life with her family, including her elderly dog and three cats brought with her from the UK. “Two of my cats are now 16 years old and I’ve had them longer than I’ve had my kids, so of course I had to bring them with me!”

    Anny Mok

    Homing Supervisor

    Homing assistants are important frontline staff and work hard to find the most suitable match between people looking for pets and animals needing homes. They meet all potential adopters to discuss the make-up of their households, where they live and the health condition, quirks and needs of the animals.

    Anny has worked with the SPCA for 18 years, and most of this time has been in Homing. “Hong Kong still has a lot of homeless animals. We do our very best to help the greatest number.”

    Some cases can be very frustrating, especially when someone adopts an animal and then returns it.  Anny thinks that in these situations pet owners should seek help. The SPCA provides a lot of behavioural and training support and adopters should never surrender their animals so easily. “Many people seem to think that we are a refuse collection point for animals. Domestic pets have little control over their lives. They rely almost entirely on humans for their care. People should think very carefully about the commitment in owning an animal.”

    Dr Matt Downey

    Assistant Senior Veterinary Surgeon

    Dr Matt is British and before joining the SPCA he worked in a variety of countries including Romania, New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Dubai. He enjoys a varied caseload and gets satisfaction from being able to diagnose and fix sick animals, so the challenges of the SPCA are right up his street.

    An unforgettable moment early in his career involved a terrier dog called Max who had been vomiting and not eating. X-rays showed Max had swallowed a stone, which was blocking his intestines. Luckily, Max’s guts weren’t too badly damaged and Dr Matt was successfully able to remove the stone.

    “The next day when I checked on Max, he was happily wagging his tail and jumping round his cage. He scoffed all his breakfast and afterwards pulled on his lead as I took him out to the toilet. It was like looking at a different dog! Max went on to make a full recovery; he was happy, his owners were overjoyed and I was delighted! Cases like this are what being a vet is all about. They don’t happen every day, but the occasions when I’m able make such a huge difference to an animal’s well-being are incredibly satisfying.”

     

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  • SPCA update                               “Care for Animals and Respect Life” Mini-movie Charity Screening      20

    “Care for Animals and Respect Life” Mini-movie Charity Screening

     

    The charity screening of the SPCA’s “Care for Animals and Respect Life” mini-movies took place on 16 May 2015. Seven mini-movies from the collaborative project with Tencent Video were shown. We would like to express our sincere thanks to director Derek Yee for his support as the consultant on the project and for lining up the participating artists and directors from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.

    This successful event was sponsored by Kakato Premium Pet Food and was supported by UA Cinemas. The generous support of participants and donors enabled the Society to raise approximately $160,000 for its educational work and to fund the production of the mini-movie DVDs. These are being distributed alongside our Humane Education talks in mainland China and Hong Kong to help promote the message of care for animals and respect for life.

    Geriatric Cat Care Workshops

    In June and July, the SPCA held two “Geriatric Cat Care” workshops, with Dr Matt Downey giving the English session and Dr Angel Yip the Cantonese. These newly created talks covered a wide variety of topics including senior cat nutrition, comfort, behaviour, the common medical problems older cats face and the veterinary care available. Both sessions were very fruitful with cat owners actively involved and sharing experiences. Another “Geriatric Cat Care” workshop is to be held next year. Stay tuned if you want to know more about how to treat your ageing cats with special care.

    Pet Adoptathon 2015

    This year marked the 13th annual Pet Adoptathon to have been held by the SPCA. Twelve other animal welfare organisations in Hong Kong joined us in this worldwide campaign in the first three days of May. We worked hard in a collaborative effort to find new homes for as many animals as possible. The three-day programme included a Veterinary Services Open Day, an Inspectorate Animal Rescue Van Display and a series of seminars about animal welfare and behaviour, pet care and dietary tips. The happy result of this was that we successfully homed 70 animals: 25 dogs, 20 cats and 25 small animals. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all those who adopted animals. “Light up their lives and let their unbounded joy light up yours!” had been our slogan – and it is inspiring that so many animals found new homes.

    SPCA Promotes “Harmony in the Community”

    With the recent boom in pet ownership more companion animals are finding homes in residential estates. Proactively promoting the SPCA’s work in “Harmony in the Community” can help improve rapport between pet owners and their neighbours, and allow the companion animals to live an enjoyable life. On 14 May, a representative from the SPCA delivered a Harmony in the Community talk to facility managers at Synergis Management Services Limited at their monthly meeting.

    The talk covered not only the promotion of accord in residential estates but also what management should do with stray or wild animals, and how the SPCA can offer help with such issues. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you wish to learn more.

    Animal Wall Painting @ Stanley

    An amazing transformation was brought to our Barking Lot (Stanley Adoption Centre) in May when one of the walls was covered with colourful images of animals. The wall has become one of Stanley’s new attractions, drawing increased foot traffic to our adoption centre and homing animals. The event was supported by Goldman Sachs and completed by their staff with the guidance of an artist. Exhibiting a passion for animals, this artistic effort has raised public awareness to the plight of abandoned animals in the hope that it will help find them loving homes. If your organisation is interested in supporting animal welfare in a unique and creative way, please call 2232 5508 for details.  

    Handling Animals Humanely – Seminar

    With the proximity of Hong Kong’s highways to urban and rural settlements it is not surprising that animals, especially dogs and cats, sometimes stray onto highways and into tunnels. They end up trapped by busy traffic, scared to move, or are hit by vehicles and injured or killed. Animals that get onto these roads are also dangerous to drivers and passengers as they can cause traffic accidents.

    SPCA inspectors are invariably called to such scenes, but it can take time to reach them. In view of this, the Inspectorate delivered two seminars in March to about 130 frontline officers of Route 3 Company, Tai Lam Tunnel and Aberdeen Tunnel on “Humane Animal Handling”. In the seminars, they stressed that the safety of officers, drivers and passengers was of primary importance, but that the animals needed to be handled humanely to avoid any unnecessary suffering. The inspectors explained how to approach the animals, how highway and tunnel staff could cooperate with inspectors and what to do before the inspectors arrived to secure the safety of animals and traffic.

     

    It is hoped such cooperation on our roads will minimise casualties.

     

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  • Happy endings                           Dou Dou and Emmy start new lives                                                      24

    A Second Chance at Happiness

    Dou Dou had been rescued by our inspectors in 2007 and brought to the SPCA. She had a gentle temperament and was soon adopted. Sadly, she was returned to the SPCA in February 2015 with her owner claiming they were not allowed to keep cats where they lived. This left Dou Dou abandoned as a nine-year-old senior after seven years of homed life. She was assessed by our vets and deemed healthy and adoptable, and by great good fortune found her second chance at happiness one month later with new owners Rika and Kwai.

    Facing a new life on Cheung Chau, Dou Dou was a little nervous at first, but soon adapted to her new environment and became affectionate. Kwai says she always meows at people in an effort to communicate. She is playful and well mannered, only sharpening her claws on her cat scratcher and not the furniture, and is not picky about food. Rika and Kwai are full of compliments about her lovely character!

    There is a saying “An oldster at home as treasure your own!” Similarly, the happy ending to Dou Dou’s story reflects the fact that older cats can be very good companions. They usually have a more stable and calmer temperament than kittens. Of course, would-be owners need to consider the possible cost of long-term health care and the needs of seniors. After all, adoption is a lifelong dedication.

    New Hope for a Senior Schnauzer

    Emmy, a 10-year-old Schnauzer, was rescued by our inspectors from conditions of terrible neglect. After being examined and treated by our vets, she was handed to our groomers to deal with her badly matted coat. Emmy finally returned as a very cute Schnauzer!

    However, she was an older dog and rather quiet and withdrawn in kennels, and we worried that she might have to wait a long time before being rehomed. Luckily, this wasn’t so. Emmy was happily adopted and her new owners gave her the Chinese name Siu-Mei. They say of her: “She is a bit shy, but very curious. Recently, we took her out for a new hairdo, and realised how she hates the hairdryer. We are so lucky and very grateful that we got to meet her. Siu-Mei is such a nice and obedient dog.”

    “Raising a puppy is a process of incubation; raising an old dog is discovering treasure.” Siu-Mei was at first shy and nervous in her new home. But with the love and care given to her, she began to feel at ease and display more of her true personality. Peeling away the outer fabric of older dogs, we often discover a shining jewel. We at the SPCA are sure that Siu-Mei is very thankful and happy for now having caring owners who respect her.

     

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  • Awaiting adoption                  Samiya, Mocha, Ng Tung, Roxy and Bear                                                        25

    The SPCA always has many lovely animals which are desperate for a new home. If you are confident that you’re ready to adopt a pet, simply have a look at the animals on this page, and visit them in person. If you find the perfect pet for you, just get in contact and we’ll guide you through the rest of the process. Animal adoptions not only benefit the animals,

    but they also provide warmth, companionship and a whole lot of fun!

     

    Samiya

    Gender: Female

    Age: 8 months

    Number: 348794

    Location: 

    Hong Kong Centre

     

    I was born at the SPCA after my mom was brought in by an inspector. She was found living in a warehouse and was very sick. Fortunately, the SPCA gave her the treatment she needed and she was later adopted. I am always up for fun and games and just love being with people!

    Please come and get to know me. I’m special!

     

    Mocha

    Gender: Male

    Age: 8 years

    Number: 359528

    Location: Hong Kong Centre

     

    Ng Tung

    Gender: Male

    Age: 8 years

    Number: 359533

    Location:

    Hong Kong Centre

     

    Mocha and I have grown up together since we were small and are very good friends. Don’t be misled by our age because we are still very active. Whenever we are around there’s just double happiness – never trouble! We are gentle, friendly and calm, and very affectionate towards everyone we meet.

     

    Roxy

    Gender and age: Indeterminate

    Number: 363489

    Location: Hong Kong Centre

     

    Bear

    Gender and age: Indeterminate

    Number: 363488

    Location: Hong Kong Centre

     

    We are red-eared slider terrapins and looking for a kind home! We are easy going and will be loyal companions. Please contact the SPCA staff to learn more about us.

     

    To know more about our homing animals, please go to

    www.spca.org.hk/en/services/animals-for-adoption

     

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  • Members’ corner                    Events from August to November                                                       26 - 27

    Members’ Events

    (August – November)

     

     

    “Paint Your Pet” – Photo Art Workshop

     

    Date:

    August 22 (Saturday)

     

    Time:

    2pm – 5pm

     

    Place:

    Seminar Room, 4/F SPCA Wanchai Headquarters

     

    Fee:

    Member $400,

    Non-Member $450

    (Includes one 12” x 16” photo-canvas,

    all art materials,

    tools and instruction)

     

    Pet First Aid

    (Date to be confirmed)

     

    Members’ Discount

    5% discount on Alima Pure products

     

    By presenting a valid membership card, SPCA members

    will receive a 5% discount on all Natural Mineral Makeup

    from Alima Pure from designated retailers. (This special

    offer is valid till 30 November 2015. Alima Pure reserves

    the right of final decision on the use of the offer.)

     

    Please visit www.spca.org.hk for more member offers.

     

    Review of Members’ Events

    Horseback Riding Family Day

    Kadoorie Farm

     

    The Membership Department aims to provide opportunities for SPCA members to gather together and take part in animal-related activities. In the past six months, we have organised two outdoor activities – a visit to Kadoorie Farm on 28 March and a Horseback Riding Family Day on 6 June. The two events were attended by more than 50 members with their families and friends. Both were lovely weekends and were enjoyed in good weather. Not only were we able to get some outdoor exercise in pleasant surroundings, but we learnt much about local wildlife and the behaviour and care of horses.

     

    We will continue to organise similar activities in the future. Stay tuned if you are interested in joining us!

     

     

     

    Paint your precious moments – with fun, love and creativity

    The “Paint Your Pet” Photo Art Workshop on 22 August will be held with the support of Vibe Photo Art. This unique art session combines photography and painting. We will digitally pre-process your chosen photograph and print it on a canvas as your template. Don’t worry if you have little or no artistic experience. You will be guided throughout the session and will learn useful painting skills. Unleash your creativity to produce a unique picture of your own pet! Vibe Photo Art will donate the proceeds of this activity to the SPCA.

     

    To sign up, please call the Membership Department on 2232 5548

    or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on or before 14 August.

     

    Remarks:

    • Priority will be given to active members.

    • The fee for this activity is based on the materials needed for each canvas. Members can bring family and friends to paint one or more canvases. Accompanying guests who are non-members and wish to paint individually are required to pay the non-member fee.

     

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  • Kids’ corner                                 Be a smart kid: Say no to animal shows                                                    28 - 29

    Be a smart kid

    SAY NO to animal shows!

     

    We humans are very lucky to have so much entertainment at our disposal; we can watch TV, enjoy sport, go to concerts and the theatre, have fun on our computers, and much else. However, some of our entertainment involves animals. Do we ever stop to think whether the animals enjoy what they are made to do and whether it is good for them? We’d like you to think about this and the reality behind animal shows.

     

    Each year, many whales and dolphins are captured and sold to aquariums or amusement parks into a life which can never be the same as that of the ocean. They are separated from their family groups and live in small tanks or pools until they die, simply for our entertainment.  

    Whales and dolphins in the wild swim freely in the ocean for long distances; sometimes they travel 100 miles a day. This means that NO tank can ever be big enough for them to swim as they did before and this unnatural environment greatly reduces their life spans. Dolphins in the wild can live to 40 years, while those in captivity live to only about five.

     

    Many people think that dolphins smile. The truth is dolphins cannot move their facial muscles to communicate their inner feelings as humans do, and they appear to “smile” even when injured or ill.

     

    Marine animals are not the only ones to suffer. Many wild animals, such as bears, elephants, lions and monkeys, are captured from their natural habitats to provide entertainment for people in amusement parks or circuses. However, many of these show animals experience great cruelty, physically and mentally.

     

    Animals are often made to work long hours performing difficult tricks which are not natural to their behaviours and they end up tired and stressed after the shows. They are kept in cages for most of the time with no freedom. Trainers often beat or starve the animals to force them to perform properly. If you think about it, people are very SELFISH for wanting to use animals in this way for their own entertainment.

     

    To help stop such animals from suffering,

    you can:

    Say NO to animal shows

    Encourage family and friends

    to do the same

    Watch documentaries about wild animals

    Respect animals, be considerate

    and think about their feelings

     

    Amidakuji

    These four animals long to escape their life of suffering as performers in animal shows. Please help them get back to their original, natural habitats by marking their routes with different colour pens or crayons. Start at the top and as you reach a transverse line you must take it.

     

    BU BI'S TRANSFORMATION

    Bu bi Yorkshire Terrier

    Gender: Female

    Character: Smart, very alert, a bit mischievous

    Interest: Playing with chewable toys

     

    Tobbie Mixed-breed long-hair Chihuahua

    Gender: Female

    Character: Lively, friendly, calm and quick-witted

    Interest: Going outdoors

     

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