Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Hong Kong)
|Founded||1903, Hong Kong|
- 1 History
- 2 Renaming
- 3 Mission
- 4 Current structure
- 5 Campaigns
- 6 Financial information
- 7 Animal welfare programs
- 8 Controversy
- 9 Publications
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The organization was the first charity in Hong Kong to deal with a full range of animal welfare concerns. It was founded by a group of volunteers in 1903, who operated it mainly on a volunteer basis. Activities were suspended in 1914 due to the outbreak of World War I. The organization was re-established in 1921, with the Governor Reginald Edward Stubbs as President and Patron.
In 1922, the organization's first Dog's Home opened in Waterloo Road, Kowloon. Following the loss of that site in 1934, a new expanded boarding kennel was opened in Kowloon City, which housed many animals left by people fleeing the area during the Second World War.
The society's first veterinary clinic opened in Kowloon in 1953. An expanded animal clinic offering free services to pet owners was opened in the 1960s. The first mobile vet clinic was offered in 1987.
In the 1950s, cat boxes were introduced as places for people to leave unwanted cats and kittens. The cat box locations were expanded in 1970. In 2000, the organization took a different approach, pioneering the Cat Colony Care Programme in Asia involving trap-neuter-return. In 2014, the society reported on its website that 5,000 cats' lives are ended annually in its care and that of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, a reduction from 40,000 in 1963.
In 2012, the Barking Lot Cafe (Stanley Adoption Centre) opened in Stanley.
In 1978, the society was formally named the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (皇家防止虐待禽畜會). In 1995, members voted at an annual general meeting to drop the prefix "Royal" from the Society's name, with the new name going into effect on 1 January 1997.
The society's mission is "to promote kindness to animals, to protect their health and welfare, to prevent cruelty and through education, to inspire in the community a deep respect for life so that all living creatures may live together in harmony."
The Society is run by an Executive Committee elected by members who provide veterinary services and fund-raising programmes to support the organisation economically.
The SPCA (HK)'s headquarters is in Wan Chai at Hong Kong Island. Other SPCA (HK) centres are located in Pok Fu Lam, Ho Man Tin, Mong Kok, Sai Kung, Cheung Chau, Mui Wo and Hang Hau to provide veterinary and homing services for animals in need.
Some of the campaigns underway include:
Ban shark fin soup
Focusing on the cruelty involved in the finning and killing of over 70 million sharks per year, the organization joined with other ocean conservation groups to call for the end of the shark finning trade. The society took part in canvassing hotels and clubs, calling for them to drop shark's fin soup from their menus. As a result, two leading hotels dropped the soup from their menus, and the airline Cathay Pacific agreed to cease shipping unsustainable sharks fin products across all their airline routes.
More public areas for dogs
The society is working to increase access to public areas for pets, which are very limited in Hong Kong. "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." The society is working to increase awareness of the benefits to both animals and their guardians, and to develop a strategic plan.
TNR program for stray dogs and cats
With the successful experience of the trap-neuter-return program for free-roaming cats, the society has lobbied for a similar program to be tried for stray dogs. In 2012, local governments in three proposed locations for trials voted against the measures. The organization continues to search for suitable TNR trial locations.
End the seal hunt
The society is campaigning alongside other animal welfare groups to ban the seal hunt in Canada. Following a ban of the products by the European Economic Community, Canada announced an agreement to sell seal meat to China. The SPCA(HK) is working to ban the products in Hong Kong. "By banning seal products in Hong Kong, we will not only be closing the market here, but also have a knock-on effect on China and Asia, and send a clear message to the Canadian government." In 2014, Canadian officials reported that the government of China backed away from the deal to buy seal meat after pressure from animal welfare groups.
Table 1 Net revenue for the year
|Welfare and community support services||(22.5)||(19.0)|
|Advertising and other income||8.6||4.1|
|Surplus for the year||6.6||5.7|
Animal welfare programs
Organize school visit and exhibition in shopping malls to spread the message of compassion, respect and care for animals. In 2007–08 289 talks were given to young people reaching 20,004 audiences. The SPCA website is also committed to educating the public on how to look after pets responsibly. Vet's Corner and the Treasure of Knowledge pages are full of useful information such as what to do if your pet becomes ill.
- Homing and adoption
Vaccinate, treat and find new homes for abandoned animals. In year 2007 to 2008, 2904 animals were successfully adopted. Animals who can not be adopted after a certain time may have to be put down.
Look for foster parents for puppies and kittens which are too young to leave their mothers. Foster parents generally look after the young animals until a permanent home can be found.
The SPCA (HK) has a policy of Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) as a solution to reduce the overpopulation of abandoned animals. Surrender can only be done in office hours, so that the SPCA (HK) staff can try to ascertain the reason for the surrender.
- Behaviour Training
Offers training programmes, including Puppy Socialisation Training and Basic Obedience Training.
- Homing Hearing Dog Programme
Assign hearing dog to the people in need, they serve as their ears and eyes.
- Pet care services
Includes boarding services, grooming, and veterinary services. Provide regular veterinary services to their member's companion animals at static clinics and the mobile clinic vehicle. Special veterinary services include "Weight Management Clinics" and "Wellness Clinics" for animals in need. According to the Annual Report 04-05, 64,969 animals had been given veterinary treatment from their clinics during that year.
- SNAP - Spay Neuter Assistance Program
The SPCA (HK)'ｓpolicy on animal euthanasia has long been controversial among animal lovers and pet owners. According to the SPCA (HK)'ｓannual report, 4128 animals were put down by the society in 2007 to 08.
In November 2013, about 20 activists protested outside the society's Wan Chai headquarters, accusing the society of abandoning its mission: "The SPCA should try harder to save animals under its care, such as appealing to animal lovers through social media, before taking that final step to conduct euthanasia," stated one protester, who took issue with about half of the 10,000 abandoned animals the SPCA receives each year being put to sleep.
Pawprints(足印) is a quarterly newsletter published by the SPCA (HK). Its contents range from the SPCA (HK) news and announcements to international news concerning animal welfare. Interviews with the SPCA (HK) staff and vets are also featured. The public can go to their official website to read the past issues of Pawprints.
- "China outreach", SPCA(HK), accessed August 16, 2014.
- "Who we are", SPCA(HK), accessed August 16, 2014.
- "History of the SPCA", SPCA (Hong Kong), accessed August 16, 2014.
- "CCCP: Benefits and Challenges", SPCA(HK), accessed August 16, 2014.
- "Shark Fin: No Soup -- No Suffering", SPCA(HK), accessed August 16, 2014.
- "Pet Access to Open Public Space", SPCA(HK), accessed August 16, 2014.
- "History of TNR in Hong Kong", SPCA(HK), accessed August 16, 2014.
- "Canada to sell seal meat to China", CBC News, January 12, 2011.
- "End The Seal Hunt", SPCA(HK), accessed August 16, 2014.
- "Sale of seal meat to China thwarted by anti-hunt activists: fisheries minister", Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press, April 14, 2014.
- "SNAP: Spay Neuter Assistance Programme", SPCA(HK), accessed August 16, 2014.
- "Animal rights activists slam SPCA charity for euthanising 5,000 animals a year", Samuel Chan, South China Morning Post, 25 November 2013.
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