Why few dogs in Hong Kong have their day, even as China is changing

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 August, 2018, 5:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 August, 2018, 5:03pm

The story, “Golden retriever proves woman’s best friend” (August 14), in your China Digest was heart-warming. What a contrast to the policy in Hong Kong. No pet dog would be allowed to board an ambulance here, let alone wait faithfully inside the hospital while the owner was being treated.

Unwelcoming “no dogs allowed” signs are everywhere in this dog-unfriendly city. Of course, owners who don’t clean up after their pets need to be brought to book, for which the use of QR codes in eastern China with a demerit point system sounds like just the ticket, both brilliant and workable.

Owning a dog is a wonderful experience, they truly do give total love and devotion, asking nothing in return. Many of those who oppose people keeping dogs do so from their own personal fear or prejudice. They have to understand that it is selfish to deprive anyone of the freedom to choose to enjoy dog companionship.

How can children ever learn to appreciate dogs or have compassion for animals if they are prevented from ever encountering and learning about them? Empathy seems to be in short supply in our money-driven society. We prohibit dogs almost everywhere, despising their right to exist. Does lack of empathy towards animals eventually lead to lack of empathy towards each other?

Watch: Devoted dog in China waits for her owners to finish school every day

China seems to be progressing as a society when in some places at least dogs are now appreciated as family members rather than something to put on the menu. Hong Kong should follow suit and become more compassionate towards dog owners and animals in general.

Joan Miyaoka, Sha Tin