Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > Hong Kong

14 March 2006


Working dogs stole the limelight at a press conference today (March 14) to launch Animals Asia Foundation's anti-animal cruelty education campaign In Hong Kong.

click to enlarge

Dogs from Animals Asia's "Dr Dog" and "Professor Paws" programmes teamed up with working dogs from Hong Kong Police, Customs & Excise and Correctional Services Departments, to show that dogs deserve our respect.

The display of canine solidarity came as Animals Asia launched its educational campaign in conjunction with government departments and private organisations, including Agricultural, Fisheries & Conservation Department, Hong Kong Police, Junior Police Clubs, Customs & Excise, Correctional Services, the Scouts Association of Hong Kong, Olympian City and retailer Lush.

Animals Asia founder and CEO Jill Robinson MBE said at the launch that in the wake of so many animal cruelty incidents in Hong Kong in the past few months, the foundation felt it was time to reinforce the message that dogs were important members of society and that they made a significant contribution to our lives.

"This is a very proud moment for Animals Asia because the very presence of us all here today reinforces a strong commitment towards the importance of engaging the Hong Kong community to recognise dogs - and cats - as important members of society that can contribute significant help and companionship in our day-to-day lives," Ms Robinson said.

"As an animal welfare group, Animals Asia has always focused on promoting dogs and cats as our best friends through our animal therapy programme, 'Dr. Dog', and 'dogs as teachers' through our education programme, 'Professor Paws'," Robinson said.

She told a shocked audience that dog and cat fur was readily available in Hong and that it was cheap to buy. It is simple truths such as this that Animals Asia wishes to get across during its education campaign.

With the help of the participating bodies, Animals Asia plans to distribute educational materials to the general public and primary and secondary school students. The materials include responsible pet care leaflets; companion animal commitment posters; an anti-dog-eating VCD, "Dr. Eddie: Friend or Food"; and dog and cat fur alert cards, "Are you wearing my coat?".

Ms Robinson said there were two main reasons that Animals Asia started its Dr Dog programme in 1991. "The first was my utter disbelief in seeing so many dogs abandoned by society - pedigrees walking the streets, hungry, sick, lonely and confused, after being thrown away by people who were their family, but became sick of their "designer" dogs.

"I realised too that shelters such as the SPCA were full of equally beautiful loving dogs who would be killed in their thousands each year.

"The second reason I began Dr Dog was when I went to the live animal markets of Asia - seeing dogs and cats crammed together into cages without food, water or shade, transported over long distances on the back of trucks, and then beaten to death or stabbed in the neck or boiled alive as food for the table.

"Today, our Dr Dog animal therapy programme sees over 250 dedicated volunteers and their dogs visiting hospitals, disabled centres, elderly homes, orphanages and schools spreading warmth and love to people in need across six Asian countries -- including China! The reaction from the patients, from the doctors and staff is overwhelming as more and more people recognise that being friends with dogs and cats is actually good for us!

"And the beauty is that any suitable dog can be a Dr Dog, they do not need to be pure breeds," Ms Robinson said.

With a nod to the guests of honour, she pointed out that throughout the world dogs were being used in increasingly sophisticated roles to benefit humankind. "Today, dogs work their hearts out as guide dogs for the blind; hearing dogs for the deaf; police and army dogs; sniffer dogs searching out bombs, narcotics and illegal wildlife products, or people lost in landslides, avalanches and earthquakes. Dogs have even been trained to dive underwater to locate drowning victims.

They risk their lives for us. The least we can do is give them our respect."

The ceremony closed with the dogs and handlers adding their paw and hand prints to the backdrop - symbolising dogs and people working together to create a better society for all.

Distribution of Animals Asia Education Materials across Hong Kong:

- 20,000 Pet Care Leaflets will be available at all Police Stations throughout Hong Kong

- 20,000 Pet Care Leaflets and 20,000 "Are you wearing my coat?" Dog and Cat Fur Alert Cards will be distributed to the 20 Junior Police Clubs (with 140,000 members) together with "I Do" Commitment to your Companion Animal Posters.

- The Anti-Animal Cruelty Packs will also go to Junior Police Clubs and the Scouts Association of Hong Kong.
- Lush will distribute Pet Care Leaflets and fur alert cards will be given away with every purchase.

- Olympian City will give away pet care leaflets and fur alert cards.

The dogs attending the press conference were:

Dr. Eddie - rescued ex-market dog - now Dr. Dog ambassadorProfessor McDull (Golden Retriever)
Millie - HK Customs and Excise Department (Yellow Labrador)
Jupiter - HK Correctional Services Department (German Shepherd)
Garrett - HK Police (Springer Spaniel)

Animals Asia invites schools and institutions to join us in promoting love and respect for companion animals, by distributing our educational materials. They can contact Keir Blaauw in our Education Department: Tel: 2791-2225



HONG KONG, March 14 (Xinhuanet) -- AnimalsAsia

Foundation, a Hong Kong-based charity, announced here Tuesday that it will soon launch a series of education programs to end cruelty to animals and restore respect for life. In cooperation with local departments including the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Hong Kong Police, the foundation will distribute education materials including leaflets, posters, cards and video disks to help people become responsible pet owners and stop consuming dogs and cats.

"In view of recent animal-abusing incidents, we feel it very much an urgency to initiate education programs to curb such activities," said Jill Robinson, founder and CEO of the foundation. In two separate cases, two young men in Hong Kong were arrested over the past few months for cruelty to animals. A 19-year-old man allegedly broke four cats' legs with bare hands and dumped them in the street, and a 26-year-old beat his flatmate's dog to death simply because he was annoyed by its barking.

Robinson said that, in addition to material distribution, the foundation will continue to organize more "Professor Paws Educational Fun Day" activities, from which children can learn how to care for animals while improving their English by interacting with certified Dr. Dogs and asking questions and making presentation in English.

The "Professor Paws" program has so far served over 1,300 students in 14 schools all over Hong Kong, and drawn an overwhelmingly positive feedback, she said.