Hong Kong police have arrested a 66-year-old man on suspicion of animal cruelty after six rabbits were found without enough water. Officers were sent to a house in the Kwu Tung area of Sheung Shui in the New Territories after they got a 999 emergency call at about 5pm on Sunday. “Six rabbits were found in crates outside the house. The hygiene of the place was poor and there was not enough water,” the force said on Monday. “The examination showed the rabbits were not in life-threatening condition. They were later collected by a relevant animal welfare organisation for further examination.” Hong Kong cat owner guilty of animal cruelty for ‘prank’ but court returns pet Police said they were tipped off by a caller who claimed the rabbits were intended for sale and who suspected they had been mistreated. The force on Monday afternoon said the suspect had been released on bail, pending further investigation, and was required to report back to police next month. Officers from the police’s animal crime team in Tai Po district are investigating the case. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said it had collected six rabbits – five adults and one young one – from the scene. An SPCA spokeswoman said the animals would be examined by a vet and a report would be submitted to police. Police warned that animal cruelty was a serious offence punishable by up to three years in jail and a HK$200,000 (US$25,488) fine. “Police appeal to all pet owners to provide a proper living environment with enough food and water for their pets,” the force said. Hong Kong cat owner avoids jail for putting pet in washing machine A 19-year-old student previously pleaded guilty to nine animal cruelty offences in May in connection with an online business sacrificing animals in rituals he claimed could help mend broken relationships. West Kowloon Court heard that Tong Cheuk-him had earned HK$118,600 for performing “violent and cruel” ceremonies with small animals such as mice, rabbits and frogs between July 25 and August 11 last year. He began learning “witchcraft” on social media in 2020 and set up an Instagram account in 2021 to promote his trade. Tong was arrested in a sting operation last August. Officers also seized a rabbit, five mice, a 26cm dagger and several ritualistic tools, such as amulets and tarot cards. Messaging logs on Tong’s mobile phone revealed he had killed animals in response to requests from five people, who were either hoping to start over with their former partners or wanted to curse their new relationships. Police subsequently tracked down three women and accused them of taking part in a conspiracy to hurt animals. A fourth client fled the city last October, while the fifth suspect’s identity remains unknown as they had contacted Tong using a prepaid SIM card.