Interest in SPCA's adoptathon indicates things are looking up for abandoned pets
with Vivian Chen
The fate of abandoned pets seemed particularly grim in the wake of last year's financial crisis, but recent response to the annual adoptathon organised by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests prospects are improving.
'The number of adoptions dropped considerably during last year's economic downturn - about 25 per cent fewer animals were adopted compared to the year before,' says Michael Wong Ho-ming, the SPCA's deputy director of community development.
Although only about 80 abandoned dogs, cats, rabbits and hamsters found new homes through the SPCA's adoptathon held over the weekend - roughly the same as the previous year's - Wong has reason to feel 'cautiously optimistic'.
More than 2,500 animal-lovers showed up at the SPCA's five centres across the city to play with the animals, one of which is pictured, and attend seminars on pet-related topics ranging from health to grooming.
'That's a good sign, although figures don't mean everything,' Wong says. 'The most important thing is getting more people to come and learn about the benefits of adopting pets instead of buying [from a shop]. Of course, they need to know that it's a lifetime commitment once they decide to keep a pet.'
Adopters were also invited to share stories of life with their new pets on the SPCA's website. The winning entry will be chosen at the end of the month, with the owner receiving a year's worth of pet food.
To join the competition, upload photos and story on www.spca.org.hk/eng/news/hills_love_3_form.asp