Police investigate deaths of two stray cats found in Hong Kong alley
Animals were found with wounds on shoulder and near the tail
Police are investigating whether foul play was involved in the death of two stray cats, whose carcasses were found in an alley in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
The dead animals were discovered by a 46-year-old man in an alley off Ngan Hon Street, To Kwa Wan at about 6.45am. Officers from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) were also called in to help.
An SPCA spokeswoman said injuries were found on the shoulder and near the tail of the two domestic shorthairs. A substance suspected to be saliva was seen near the wounds, though it was unclear whether it was the cats’ or some other animals’.
The two adult male cats were not microchipped.
Their bodies were sent to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for a postmortem examination to ascertain the cause of death.
In Hong Kong, cruelty to animals carries a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to HK$200,000 (US$25,530).
The SPCA received 838 complaints of animal cruelty in 2016/17, up 7.4 per cent on 2015/16.
Hong Kong police have insisted that their specialist teams investigating animal abuse take the crimes “as seriously as murder”, despite less than half of cases ending in convictions.
The force launched its Animal Watch Scheme in 2011 to coordinate animal abuse investigations. Fourteen dedicated teams, composed mainly of inspectors from the criminal investigation department, were also set up to handle cases.
But animal abuse often happens without witnesses, making prosecutions more difficult, according to police. Acting Senior Superintendent Dennis Cheng Wai-kin said in January that of an average of 60 to 80 abuse cases each year, only 30 to 40 per cent would lead to successful convictions.