Like many villages and rural areas in Hong Kong, Peng Chau faces the issue of animal overpopulation. Residents have to deal with noise pollution and poor hygiene in the streets while the animals themselves suffer from overcrowding, inadequate food supplies, territorial disputes and fighting, as well as the production of unwanted litters.
In December 2014, the SPCA collaborated with Peng Chau’s District Council as well as other local leaders and volunteers to set up a community project. The goal was to educate residents about responsible pet ownership and the importance of having their animals desexed while also offering free-of-charge animal desexing.
A key element of the project was to explain to local residents the benefits to both humans and animals of desexing, helping overcome religious beliefs or misunderstandings about the process.
Over the course of the week, the local community started to see the potential impact of desexing and 82 animals were neutered. The success of the program led to the creation of Mission Zero, a campaign designed to ensure that not a single healthy and adoptable animal is without a proper home.
The SPCA continues to work alongside the authorities in Peng Chau to make Mission Zero a reality.
Mrs. Fong’s Story
Mrs Fong has lived on Peng Chau for more than 40 years and has taken care of numerous unneutered cats and dogs for decades. She refused to allow them to be desexed because she didn’t want them to be hurt, and she also believed the cats were “safe” because they tended to stay indoors.
After an in-depth discussion about the benefits of desexing including the positive health impact to the animals, Mrs. Fong finally agreed to neuter her cats.
The story of Mrs. Fong is not unique but reflects a commonly-seen situation in many villages and reminds us of the importance of education and desexing assistance.