A few weeks back, I decided to take a chance and agree to become a volunteer leader-supervisor for Hong Kong Dog Rescue in collaboration with Handson Hong Kong. There’s a shortage of supervisors and they really need people to train new volunteers. If you haven’t heard of HKDR, allow me to give you a brief description. They are a non-profit charity dedicated to saving dogs and puppies from being destroyed by AFCD. Stray dogs and surrendered dogs are killed within 4 days or 96 hours if no one adopts them. I don’t know about you, but that’s heartbreaking, especially when I’ve been with my Mimi for 14 years. Sally, the founder of HKDR rescues the dogs who have the greatest chance of being re-homed. Sadly, that means thousands of dogs are still put to sleep every year.
I adore dogs and anything fuzzy but I had my hesitations about dog shelters. I was mostly afraid of being bitten, but that fear quickly faded as I entered the shop and saw so many happy faces. There is also a coding system where the red-naughty dogs are separated from the green-friendly dogs. The staff will also warn you in advance to stay away from certain dogs. There was absolutely nothing to fear! I even worked up the courage to enter into the red dog cages to give them some TLC and clean their pee/poo. More often than not, these dogs become aggressive from being mistreated. If you hit dogs, more than likely, they’ll bite you. If you yell at dogs, more than likely, they’ll bark at you. If you’re aggressive to dogs, more than likely, they’ll want to rip your head off. See the pattern here? I think the same applies to humans, no? And let me insert the golden rule here: “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.”
On September 24, 2013, a breeder surrendered 28 dogs to HKDR. They were locked up in cages and used as breeding machines for most of their lives. They are the parents of the puppies you see at the dog shops. They were in horrid conditions. Malnourished, infections, skin problems, reeked of urine and feces, and their fur were matted beyond belief. If these dogs were kept in such bad conditions, can you imagine the health of the puppies? The breeders couldn’t afford to pay the rent so they had to give up the dogs….and thank god for that. Now these lovely dogs can find forever homes where they can be loved and cherished for the rest of their life.
PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT PUPPY SHOPS! Buy from reputable breeders or ADOPT!
I’ll be training my very first group of dog walking volunteers on Wednesday and more opportunities will be posted on the HOHK website for November. Make sure you sign up for this great opportunity before spaces run out. It’ll be a great way for all of us to get together and exercise as a group.
I dived into this volunteer position, hesitant. What I didn’t expect was to absolutely fall in love with all the little furbabies. I suspect seeing them find new homes is like sending your own child off to college, joyous yet disheartening at the same time. Adopter updates are so welcoming because as volunteers, we really do form bonds with the dogs at HKDR. I really want to sneak a few of them home with me.
What can you do if you can’t adopt?
- Like Hong Kong Dog Rescue’s facebook page
- Like HandsOn Hong Kong’s facebook page
- Share the message of adopting vs. buying from puppy shops
- Promote positive reinforcement training, not punishment training. Victoria Stilwell: Positively
- Learn more about HKDR….here.