Pet Access to Open Public Space

The SPCA supports increased access for dogs and their owners to open public spaces. Ideally, we would like to see all public spaces open to pets, the idea being that every pet owner is within a 15 minute walk of a public space in which to exercise their dog.

Dogs and their owners have legitimate needs for such access and with the trend to increasing pet ownership dog owners should not be marginalised and excluded from society by the authorities.

Such access has benefits for both the dogs and their owners and is vital for their welfare:

  • Beneficial effects for the dog in terms of behaviour.
  • Beneficial effects for the dog in terms of health.
  • Beneficial effects for the owners (health and social contact)

We are working towards increasing awareness of the issue in the hope that a strategic plan can be developed for Hong Kong, where public, open-space leisure facilities with access for dogs are distributed evenly and fairly across the city and are readily accessible to the majority of dogs and their owners.

Currently there is very limited access for dogs and their owners to open public spaces such as parks in urban areas. Most access is available in country parks and special areas under the control of the AFCD. Dogs are allowed on some beaches but these tend to be remote and have limited or difficult access.

To facilitate increased access for dogs and their owners the SPCA is involved in lobbying District Councils, government departments and special interest groups – some progress is already being made.

To achieve a comprehensive strategic plan all parties involved in the planning, development and management of the territory need to be involved along with professional advice from individuals and organisations with experience in animal welfare and care. Consultation with the dog owners also needs to be undertaken to understand their needs.

We hope that the District Councils and other government departments will join together and share their expertise and develop a progressive and proactive strategic plan that allows dog owners to join the general community. We are more than willing to be involved in any discussions on this matter offering our years of experience in the field of animal care and welfare in Hong Kong.