Sick Puppy Survey

Do you have a sick pet from a pet shop or breeder?

In November 2006, the SPCA started conducting surveys on sick puppies sold by pet shops and breeders. The project was partly made possible when mandatory microchipping of dogs was introduced in 2005, which allowed us to more accurately trace sick puppies to pet shops.


The goals of this project are to highlight animal welfare issues, improve the well-being of the puppies and protect potential pet owners.

If you have purchased a sick pet from a pet shop, please download the form below and ask your veterinarian to fill up and submit on your behalf.

Reports will be sent on a regular basis to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) to highlight any problems and reveal trends in the Hong Kong pet trade.

This survey has the full backing of both the Hong Kong Veterinary Association (HKVA) and the Animal Welfare Advisory Group (AWAG) of the AFCD.

Results thus far

The following are some interesting facts regarding sick puppies from information obtained so far. Of the 225 reported cases between November 2006 and January 2012, we found that:

  • 77.3% of puppies were 12 weeks or younger.
  • A staggering 78.7% of puppies became sick within a week of purchase. 14.7% of them actually being sick on the day of purchase.
  • 37.3% of puppies had no micro-chip certificate and 17.8% had no accompanying vaccination card; two findings that are in breach of the animal trader's licence under Cap 139 Public Health (Animals and Birds) Ordinance that is relevant to regulating the pet trade.
  • In 10.7% of cases, no receipt was issued, which is against good consumer practice.
  • Most problem pet shops were located at Victory Avenue, Mongkok and Cannon Street, Causeway Bay.
  • Presumptive diagnoses included canine distemper (54.7%), parvovirus (21.3%) and upper respiratory tract infections (19.1%); 38.7% of puppies presented with more than one disease.
  • Mortality was 19.6% due to disease or euthanasia.

All the above can be prevented with vaccination and proper disease control measures.

The SPCA believes these figures are only the tip of the iceberg. We will continue to conduct this survey to highlight problems associated with the pet shop trade in Hong Kong, while also lobbying the government for stronger regulation within the industry.