Thinking of adopting a pet in Hong Kong? We bite the tennis ball – er, bullet – and adopt a dog through Hong Kong Dog Rescue. Here’s how the dog adoption process worked, and what it’s like to transition to life as new pet-owners.
As the saying goes: you come out of the pandemic with either a dog, a baby or an air fryer. With two kids and kitchen counter space at a premium, a dog it’s gonna be! Animal abandonments are at an all-time high and the city’s shelters are overflowing with pups in need of a home. After stalking various animal charities on social media, our hearts melted when we heard of a scruffy terrier cross rescued from an illegal breeder on rooftop in Tsuen Wan.
We paid a visit to Hong Kong Dog Rescue’s new Kennedy Town homing centre for small- to medium- sized dogs. You need to fill in the dog adoption form before visiting so they know you’re serious about. There, we met rescued poodles, mongrel puppies and… Scruff. We immediately fell in love with her friendly and energetic nature, and after taking her for a walk around the block with an HKDR volunteer, we decided to offer her a home. Unique-looking dogs with even temperaments are in high demand, so we had to act fast. We went from talking about possibly having a dog to becoming fully-fledged pet-owners in less than 48 hours!
Props to the HKDR team, who were friendly and efficient. We were provided with all the paperwork and a vaccination card, and have received post-adoption support from their dog trainer, who patiently answered all our questions and provided much-needed reassurance via email.
We definitely had a couple of panicked days of: “What have we let ourselves in for?” Having never been walked in her life, our one-year- old, 18-kilo dog had trained herself to go to the bathroom indoors – which meant she would come home from long walks and immediately relieve herself on our carpet.
But with patience and regular time outside, she quickly figured it out. Dog beds were also an issue; the first one was destroyed in a matter of days, and the second one has sat ignored in the living room, as she prefers to sleep on the hard floor.
Speaking of sleep, having a new young dog is like having a newborn, and we are regularly being woken up before 6am for walks. But the challenges are far outweighed by the utter delight that is Scruff, who is extraordinarily loving given her start in life, rarely barks and has made herself truly at home. If you’ve been suffering from pandemic blues, and have the time and energy, consider giving an animal in need a loving home.
Our shoes are chewed but our hearts are full. 10/10 would recommend.
More on Liv: Why Alternative Pet Wellness is Trending in Hong Kong