Death row dogs: 80 rescue animals face being put down after Hong Kong charity made homeless

Appeal for help as charity loses kennels, leaving 80 dogs' lives on the line

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 May, 2014, 4:16am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 May, 2014, 4:14pm

These are three of the 80 dogs that could be put down in 22 days' time unless the charity that cares for them finds a new home.

Sai Kung Stray Friends have been told they have to vacate their premises by June 20, when demolition vehicles will move in to "clean up the site" which has been sold to a new landlord.

The dog-rescue charity, whose lease has already expired, was hoping the landlord would give it more time after plans to move to a new site were put on hold pending a planning application. But at a meeting between the charity and the landlord this week, chairwoman Narelle Pamuk said it was told it must leave the Sai Kung kennels or face having the dogs "removed".

The ultimatum means the charity may have to euthanise the dogs unless people come forward to adopt or foster them.

"We are desperate. We have nowhere to go," Pamuk said.

"We have found a new site but we need until December [to get it up and running]," she said.

"The owners of our present site said the only way we could stay after June 20 is if we paid HK$50,000 rent a month. We currently pay HK$20,000 and there is no way we can afford that sort of increase."

After months of searching, Pamuk said she found the new site in the hills above Ma On Shan. It has no buildings, electricity or water supply, and plans to move there last month fell through when the charity learned it needed approval from the Town Planning Board to convert the site into kennels.

"I have been told it will take between two and three months to get approval. I have to say the Town Planning Board has been extremely helpful and is due to hear our application in July," Pamuk said.

"I phoned them and asked if it could be brought forward to June but it was not possible because they are dealing with such volumes of work."

The charity is now urging people to come forward to adopt or at least foster the dogs. It is also appealing for donations to pay the HK$3 million cost of turning the new site into kennels.

Pamuk said she was also hoping the government could grant a temporary licence so they could use the new site while awaiting approval from the Town Planning Board.

"We are in a dark place right now. I really don't know what is going to happen," she said.

"We cannot euthanise all these wonderful, loving dogs that we have nurtured and helped through all circumstances. They trust us.

"They are worthy of living their life and we cannot take that from them."

Pamuk appealed to anyone willing to foster a dog, offer a temporary site or donate funds to contact her via the Sai Kung Stray Friends Facebook page or the charity's website,