Preventing Dog Poisoning
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 having ingested bait left in the grass verges and more than 200 dogs and an unknown number of cats and wild animals have been poisoned over the years.
In recent times, sporadic dog poisoning cases have also occurred in other areas including the Cyberport Waterfront Park in Pok Fu Lam, and Sai Kung. The poisons are varied so it is impossible to know whether they are the work of one person or several.
Increased action by the police and SPCA inspectors, as well as growing public awareness, have helped reduce the number of poisonings but poisonous bait – including laced pork, chicken and even char siu – continues to be found in concealed areas.
Whether the poisonings are deliberate or accidental, there are some simple steps you can take to keep your dog safe on the streets and trails of Hong Kong:
- Leash your dog and watch them at ALL times. 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;
- Keep your dog close to you when walking, and stop them from eating anything on the ground. The majority of poisoned dogs were either not leashed or not supervised closely;
- 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; and
- Avoid areas with known poisonings.
Dogs that have ingested poisoned foods display the following symptoms shortly after: vomiting, diarrhoea, trembling, breathing difficulty, convulsions and collapse.
Note: As a matter of course, owners should observe their dogs closely after any walk in an area with a history of poisonings; it is possible for dogs to absorb the poison via licking their paws, for example, many hours later.
What to do if you suspect your dog has been poisoned
- If your dog becomes unwell during or after the walk, take them to a vet immediately;
- Keep calm, call the vet and let them know you and your dog are on the way;
- Immediately report the incident either to the police by dialling 999 or call our 24-hour hotline on 2711 1000. SPCA inspectors and the Police will promptly patrol the area and clear any bait left to avoid further poisoning.
Our Inspectorate team is dedicated to protecting the welfare of animals and is best known for its work with Hong Kong law enforcement agencies to protect them against cruelty.
Animal Watch Scheme
As a way to combat animal cruelty more effectively, the Hong Kong Police set up the Animal Watch Scheme to formalise the working relationship between the Police, SPCA and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD).
What is animal welfare?
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Your role in combatting cruelty
The SPCA operates a 24-hour confidential hotline for members of the public to report animal cruelty and this plays a major part in helping us protect animals in Hong Kong. If you suspect animal cruelty is being committed, here are some signs ...
Preventing Dog Poisonings
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 having ingested bait left in the grass verges and more ...