The raid of 149 caged dogs discovered at a facility in Lau Fau Shan on 3 September 2010 saw the SPCA work with the police and AFCD over many months, to collect evidence, locate the defendants and seize the dogs as case exhibits.
The dogs were found to be suffering both mentally and physically. Confined in small, filthy cages, stacked three high, they exhibited severe stereotypic behaviour, spinning in circles uncontrollably. Most had dreadful skin conditions and filthy matted coats.
Each of the 149 rescued dogs underwent a veterinary examination and identification and was transferred to the SPCA and AFCD. Over 50 of the sickest dogs were sent to the SPCA Wanchai Centre where another team of staff were waiting to provide a secondary veterinary checkup and longer term treatment and care.
A number of the dogs were pregnant, and their pups were born soon after, bringing the numbers to 186. Many of our staff personally fostered them while they waited for the prosecution case to complete.
On 6 April 2011, the dogs’ owner was found guilty of causing and permitting unnecessary suffering to animals, and keeping dogs without licenses. He was fined a paltry HK$5,000 under the “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance” and sentenced to 150 hours of community service. It could not be proven by law that he was breeding dogs for sale.
But these events raised awareness of the need for better legislation, governing the welfare of companion animals and also the breeding and trading of them, which is resulting in tightening of laws today.