Governor Chris Patten is to start looking for a kennel to house his dogs Whisky and Soda for their six months' anti-rabies quarantine in the UK. Rigid laws mean the two Norfolk terriers would have to leave the territory this week to be free in time to greet the Pattens on their return to the UK in July. Despite the Governor's well-publicised opposition to the existing system, it is clear long-awaited changes will come too late to help his canine companions avoid the detention. Mr Patten's information co-ordinator, Kerry McGlynn, said: 'The family wants to ensure Whisky and Soda are properly looked after when they leave Hong Kong so they will start looking at kennels. 'However, a date has not been set for their departure and the pair will definitely be here for a while longer.' After July it appears the Patten family will wind down at their summer home in the south of France, while the two dogs will be forced to experience more austere conditions than they have become used to at Government House. Although Agriculture Minister Douglas Hogg this week promised to consider alternatives to existing regulations, changes are expected to come too late for Whisky and Soda. Mr Patten has regularly described existing rules concerning domestic pets as 'preposterous'. No animal in quarantine in Britain has developed rabies in decades, yet it is estimated about 100 die each year for other reasons. Other options include microchip tagging for vaccinated animals, blood tests and pet passports. The Pattens would be charged about $18,000 by kennels to accommodate each dog during the quarantine.