The sheer scale of the operation to rescue the dogs from a Lau Fau Shan breeding farm brought huge challenges and costs for those involved in looking after the animals. With more than 140 dogs to care for, many of which had been neglected, staff at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had to volunteer time and take dogs home with them. Sandy Macalister, executive director of the SPCA, said the charity had no option but to keep the dogs until the court case. Macalister said the cost of keeping the dogs for six months had exceeded HK$1 million 'but the good thing is that these dogs have been saved.' He was sure there were other illegal dog-breeding centres in Hong Kong. 'It is a very worrying area of animal cruelty. In a lot of cases the people behind them can't be prosecuted for cruelty because what constitutes as cruelty under the present law is a very low standard 'The message to anyone buying a pet here is to demand to know where it is coming from and insist on knowing where the supply is coming from,' Macalister said.