Precaution on Dog Poisoning

Poisoned bait laid at the side of Bowen Road and a dog victim. Many suffer a horrendously painful death.

For three decades, the Bowen Road and Black's Link areas have become synonymous with a suspected dog poisoner. In the early 1990s, dogs were found poisoned almost every month by ingesting bait left in the grass verges along this scenic stretch. Over 200 dogs and an unknown number of cats and wild animals have been poisoned in this area.

In recent years, sporadic confirmed dog poisoning cases and suspicious poisoning cases have also happened in various areas in Hong Kong, namely the Cyberport Waterfront Park in Pok Fu Lam and Sai Kung

Increased action by the police and SPCA inspectors, as well as growing public awareness, have helped reduce the number of poisonings. However, poisonous bait continues to be found in concealed areas.

No matter the poisoning was accidental or malicious, PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE. Please follow these simple steps to keep your dog safe on the streets and trails of Hong Kong:

  • Leash your dog and watch your dog at ALL times. Keep your dog under close to you when walking, and stop them from eating anything on the ground.
  • All dogs should wear a basket-muzzle to further reduce the risk of ingesting anything from the ground (a muzzle which allows your dog to pant is best to avoid heat stress).
  • Keep an eye out for warning signs - either that officials have used rat bait or that a poisoner is known to be operating in the area. The SPCA Inspectorate has placed warnings regarding malicious poisonings in known trouble spots.
  • Always take your mobile phone and some cash with you - You never know when you might need to jump into a taxi and rush to a veterinary clinic.
  • In areas where known poisoning has recently occurred, avoid these areas if possible.
  • Dogs that ate the poisoned meat displayed the following symptoms shortly after: vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, breathing difficulty, convulsions, collapse and in some cases, death.

Note: Owners should closely observe their dogs for similar symptoms AFTER any walk in that area. Dogs can also ingest poison left in the environment when they lick their paws or other poisoned surfaces, resulting in similar symptoms much later.

  • If your dog becomes unwell during or after the walk, take it to a vet immediately.
  • Keep calm, call the vet and let them know you and your dog are on the way.
  • Police:  999
  • SPCA's 24-hour Hotline:  2711 1000

The SPCA Inspectorate and the Police will promptly patrol the area and clear any bait left to avoid further poisoning.

An SPCA Inspector puts up a warning poster - we recommend protecting your dog with a basket muzzle.

  • Different types of bait have been found, such as meat laced with poison, pork, chicken and char siu (barbecued pork).
  • A variety of poisons have been used. Thus, it is unclear if the poisonings are the work of one person or several copycats.
  • In recent years, poisoned meat has been found concealed in the vegetation at the side of the road as well as slopes accessible only to unleashed dogs.
  • The majority of poisoned dogs were either not leashed or not closely supervised.