Dog owners face quick evictions
By BRENDAN DELFINO
PUBLIC housing estate tenants with dogs could be evicted after only one warning, following last week's fatal attack on a baby.
The move is one of measures the Housing Department is considering to enforce its ban on dogs.
A spokesman said it was considering more eviction notices, increased foot patrols and warning letters to residents.
'At the moment we have a procedure where we serve two verbal warnings and a written warning before we threaten eviction,' the spokesman said.
'We are now looking at shortening this procedure. It could go from three to two warnings or even three to one.' Seven-month-old Yuen Wing-sum was mauled to death by her family dog in Fung Tak Estate, Wong Tai Sin on Friday.
Neighbours said they had complained to the department and warned her parents about the two pit bull terriers 'for years'.
The department said it had issued two warnings to the family and the dogs had not been there when officers visited the flat.
'This is a difficulty because this is a private place and we cannot enter. We are not police officers,' the spokesman said.
Both the dogs could be put down on Monday.
The department gave a two-month extension for the distribution of reports for residents to complain about neighbours.
But there is concern the measures will increase the number of strays.
'The owners will just abandon the dogs leaving even more to congregate outside these estates causing a further threat and nuisance to the public,' said Hong Kong Kennel Club member Nelson Lam.
The department said 992 stray dogs were caught on the estates from April 1994 to December last year. During the same period 2,280 families got rid of their dogs after warnings and two families who failed to do so were evicted.