Cats at Tong Fuk prison had a narrow escape after a new superintendent gave the order for them to be evicted from the buildings.
A a public outcry raised the alarm, and on Friday morning the Assistant Commissioner (Operations) inspected the prison and met with staff from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to talk about the cats’ future. The prison rules do not allow any animals to be kept there.
A statement from the Correctional Services Department said the decision to remove the cats had been taken after a person in custody had been disciplined over ill-treatment of one of them. Previously, the prison had been working with the SPCA on a programme to desex the kitties and try to get them placed in their forever homes.
That plan will continue and those which don’t get adopted will be returned to the institution, where they will continue to be looked after under the guidance of the SPCA.
Prison staff, some of whom pay for the cats’ food out of their own pockets say the cats have lived in the prison for years. “The cats get along very well with both the officers and the inmates.,” an officer added.
Located on a remote strip of southern Lantau, the medium-security building for adult male prisoners is surrounded by forests, and there are a lot of strays in the area.
Before the order to have them removed, scores of cats had made themselves at home in the prison.
For now, the cats will get to stay in prison. If you’d like to free one, though, and give it a home, Young Post is sure the SPCA will want to hear from you.