No-one in Hong Kong should be deprived of owning a dog

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 October, 2015, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 October, 2015, 5:01pm

The government has a short memory. A few years ago it caused an uproar by suddenly forcing public housing tenants to abandon their pet dogs or face eviction.

People panicked, dogs were secretly transferred to safety, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was inundated with unwanted dogs and the unlucky ones got chucked onto the streets. After causing so much distress and misery and after thousands of innocent dogs were sent to an early grave the government relented, rules were drawn up for dog keeping, but it was too late for far too many.

Maybe in those days the excuse might have been the benefits of keeping a dog were not well known, but thanks to Google we know more about dogs now than we've ever known. Many of us are beginning to appreciate the happiness owning a dog can bring to a family, we are becoming civilised and it is uncivilised of the Housing Department to force responsible dog owners to give up their pets.

Michael Chugani argues against keeping dogs in public estates ("HK's public housing estates are no place for dogs", October 21), but dog ownership may at least make living there more bearable. All housing estates, public and private, should be pet friendly by law.

Archaic deeds of mutual covenant of private residences that ban the keeping of dogs were written and implemented when dogs were still ending up on the dinner plate. The SPCA is right in saying we need to overhaul the whole system and allow people a choice because dogs enhance our lives. Dog owners who fail to clean up after their dogs or allow them to cause a nuisance to neighbours should be slapped with a hefty fine and educated. There are no bad dogs, only bad owners.

To separate an owner from their dog is inhumane, it is now the 21st century we have online petitions, we have people power, dog lovers and animal protection groups must unite to make our voices heard and bring about change, change for the better.

When something is unreasonable we must be prepared to make a stand. Seize the moment for the moment is now. No-one should be deprived of the joy of owning a dog because they truly are man's best friend.

Joan Miyaoka, Sha Tin