Implementing the ‘no dogs allowed’ rule is barbaric

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 May, 2016, 5:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 May, 2016, 5:38pm

On many private estates, enlightened incorporated owners’ committees turn a blind eye to dog keeping in the interests of maintaining harmony among residents, but when it is decided to enforce the “no dogs allowed” rule, an “us versus them” mentality begins to arise and the poor dog owners and their pets become enemy No 1 in the eyes of the dog haters.

The average dog is as smart as a two-year-old human. It is considered cruel to abandon a child, so why does the law order it to happen to a dog? Those who demand that this deed of mutual covenant clause be enforced need to realise that laws do become outdated and in need of change, the MTR has obsolete by-laws which need to be scrapped, the law protecting the legal sale of ivory needs to be amended.

Residents who bought their homes decades ago cannot be accused of deliberately breaking rules if dog keeping has become the norm. How many owners actually memorise the “no dogs allowed” clause if at the time of purchase, they have very little interest in ever owning one?

Some apartments are ideal for raising dogs, the dogs have constant companionship, vets’ fees are met, dog walking is no issue, yet owners face losing a beloved family member because of this obsolete clause. No elderly dog with health issues has any chance of being re-homed. It is court-sanctioned murder for the owner to be left with no option but to euthanise a healthy sentient being in the name of justice.

Shockingly, there are people who are incapable of empathy or compassion, completely unaware of the grief they cause by forcing owner and dog apart. Even allowing the dog to live out its natural life is rejected outright.

Responsible dog ownership is very important, but the “no dogs allowed” rule does not differentiate between those owners who obediently follow all regulations, causing no annoyance, and those who do not, it is “out with the dogs” regardless of how well behaved the dogs are. In his article (“Hong Kong is no city for dogs, but does it have to be that way?” May 6), Yonden Lhatoo so rightly says dogs have “so much unconditional love and affection to give, so much joy to share”.

Our courts need to stop this senseless persecution. Implementation of the “no dogs allowed” clause is neither educated nor civilised; it is barbaric.

Joan Miyaoka, Sha Tin