Dog bans in estates show Hong Kong is still not an animal-friendly society

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 June, 2017, 4:22pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 June, 2017, 11:16pm

Imagine you have owned a dog for 17 years and are suddenly forced by some obsolete deed of mutual covenant, that has never been enforced, to get rid of it.

The effect is emotionally devastating, both stressful and upsetting. This is the dilemma some residents face due to a small group of incorporated owners who hate dogs and suddenly want to enforce the “no dogs allowed” clause in the estate where I live.

A civilised society embraces the ownership of man’s best friend. Animal companionship is a basic human right and when owners are responsible and caring, the law should be prepared to defend them, not be forced to aid in their persecution because of an outdated clause that no longer holds any relevance in today’s world. As the Dalai Lama says, “‘Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.”

Fairness to residents who dislike dogs flouts fairness to the dogs and their owners. The clause “no dogs allowed” forces innocent dogs to be hidden, or removed from a loving home, and in some cases euthanised. It compels inhumane behaviour and the perpetrators seem oblivious to the despicable way in which they are behaving.

Hong Kong is far from being an animal-friendly society. Any judgments in court supporting the removal of dogs from their families perpetuates the belief that companion animals are objects to be owned and disposed of at will, rather than sentient beings capable of emotion and understanding.

Ignorance has to be a factor, for why else would you treat a dog like garbage? But this is what is happening in a supposedly educated society, Hong Kong.

If you understand how important a part dogs play in making people happy, then compassion and tolerance would and should be the response. It is contradictory for the courts to support inhumane removal orders when animal cruelty is punishable by law.

Joan Miyaoka, Sha Tin