Stray dog capture causes uproar online

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 July, 2010, 12:00am

Animal lovers have lashed out at the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department's handling of two stray dogs in Tin Shui Wai on Sunday that was captured on camera and uploaded to the internet.

In footage posted on the video-sharing website YouTube, two uniformed AFCD workers are seen trying to catch the two dogs near some bushes. In the video that lasts about one and a half minutes, people scream at the workers to stop because one of the dogs is bleeding 'non-stop' beside what appears to be a small pool of blood on the ground.

The clip was uploaded by a user called TheMythUnit. The user noted in the website that the incident occurred near Kingswood Ginza in Tin Shui Wai at about 9pm on Sunday.

'From what we saw at the scene, the [injured] dog did not resist at all. Many members of the public urged the AFCD workers to untie the dog but then workers instead tightened the ropes ... the dog was bleeding non-stop,' the user wrote.

The user added that the two dogs had a good relationship with people living in the area and were fed regularly by the owner of a nearby restaurant. The user also said police went to the scene in response to calls from animal lovers but the officers only dispersed the crowd, without taking witness statements.

By last night, the video had been viewed more than 23,200 times, with many people leaving comments lambasting the AFCD workers.

In a statement issued last night, the AFCD said department workers went to catch the dogs after receiving complaints from members of the public. The department said ropes were used to catch stray dogs under usual circumstances.

It also confirmed the two dogs were strays and they had injuries to their mouths that could have been caused by the rope.

'In the process, it is usual that these dogs resist, that they bite the rope and try to escape,' the department said.

'These fierce actions may lead to injuries to their mouths.'

Despite the injuries, the department noted the dogs were healthy and were being kept at its animal control centre.

The dogs would be put down if no one adopted them.

Police were investigating.