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Crime in Hong Kong

Dog found dead and four others malnourished as Hong Kong police hunt for female owner

Tibetan mastiff’s body discovered outside village hut in Lau Fau Shan; remaining animals taken in by SPCA

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2018, 3:58pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2018, 10:27pm

Police were on Tuesday looking for a 33-year-old woman who lived in a Hong Kong village house after one of her dogs was found dead and four others badly malnourished.

Officers were called to the hut off Deep Bay Road in Lau Fau Shan late Monday night after the occupant’s friend, 26, found a dead and decaying Tibetan mastiff outside.

Nobody was home, but dogs could be heard barking inside. The friend sought help from Hong Kong Paws Guardian, an animal welfare organisation, and called police at 11.50pm.

Four dogs – another Tibetan mastiff, a bulldog, a shar pei and a mongrel – were found alive inside the hut. All of them were microchipped. The mastiff was leashed, and the shar pei was inside a cage, while the other two animals were found wandering around the living room.

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Paws Guardian founder Kent Luk Ka-jeep said there were buckets of water but no food. The floor was covered in faeces and urine, and there was a strong odour.

“The shar pei is skinny and like a skeleton. It has no fat, and its ribs can be easily seen,” he said, adding that the mastiff was also thin, had dirty and matted fur, and was infested with fleas.

“It has no muscle in its rear legs, so it cannot stand for long,” he said.

Luk noted that the dogs had no obvious sign of injury but were emaciated after going without food for a long time. He guessed that the house had not been tidied for at least two or three weeks.

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Police were told that the dogs belonged to a couple who recently broke up and moved out. The friend had gone to the house after the female occupant sent her a photo of the dead animal on her phone.

The four surviving dogs were collected by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for medical examination and treatment. They were being kept at the SPCA headquarters in Wan Chai.

A police spokesman said officers were searching for the owner. No one had been arrested.

In Hong Kong, cruelty to animals carries a maximum penalty of three years in jail and a fine of up to HK$200,000 (US$25,400).