HK$47,000 awarded for loss of dog

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 May, 2010, 12:00am

A court awarded a dog owner about HK$47,000 in compensation from a pet relocation company. The pet was lost while under the supervision of the company and found dead more than a month later.

The judge ruled on Monday that Relopet, a company that offers pet relocation services worldwide, was liable for damages.

On April 1, a Relopet employee released the German shepherd-cross, Jay, from his cage by accident at the Hong Kong airport. The owner, Claire Buckley, was about to board a flight to London.

Buckley, a banking technology specialist, was notified of Jay's disappearance and delayed her return to London to search for him.

The three-year-old was found in a ditch near the airport on May 5, the carcass severely decomposed. Relopet offered a HK$3,707 deduction to her bill, but Buckley refused.

The final settlement, awarded by tribunal adjudicator Wong Lai-wing, comprised HK$5,000 for stress and inconvenience experienced, HK$13,486 for costs accrued from searching for Jay and HK$28,530, the amount Buckley had paid for the relocation service.

No Relopet representative was present during the hearing. Buckley said this absence increased her anguish. 'Relopet did not respect the court hearing,' a distressed Buckley said. 'They did not respect me, the customer, and they did not respect the needs and safety of my beloved pet Jay.'