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Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR)
Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Dog Rescue

Where to adopt a pet in Hong Kong

Here are the best places in the city for pet adoption

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Written by
Fontaine Cheng
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The past year or so has had many of us pondering about the meaning of life. And while this has spurred some to have little human babies, some of us have been looking for fur-babies instead. But if you’re going to bring home a pet, why not consider adopting one? What with so many animals in Hong Kong that have been abandoned, neglected and even abused in need of rescuing. From cats and dogs to rabbits and even turtles, there are plenty of potential pets to adopt and love.

To start the adoption process, many organisations will require you to fill out a form to understand your living and work arrangements. This is to assess that you are capable of caring for the animal while providing safe and humane conditions. Before you do, you can start browsing photos and descriptions, but the best thing to do is to attend an adoption event or set up an appointment to meet and connect with these animals first. If you are unable to adopt right away, many of these organisations also have fostering, donation and volunteer programs so you can get involved too.

Things to consider before you adopt:

  1. Do you have enough time and space for a pet?
  2. Are pets allowed in your housing property?
  3. Can you afford the food that the pet requires?
  4. Can you pay for the vet or medical fees when your pet is sick or injured?
  5. How the pet will affect the daily running of your life.

RECOMMENDED: To hang out with animals before adoption, check out ​​the best dog parks in Hong Kong or visit a pet cafe for starters.

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  • Sai Kung

Located in Sai Kung, Catherine’s Puppies rescues dogs and puppies, providing the best possible care for the rescues until they go to their forever homes. They have a small shelter in Ho Chung in Sai Kung which is mainly free-roaming for the dogs. They hold regular dog adoption events too, so it's worth checking when puppy meets are taking place on their Instagram

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  • Tai Po

Located in a village in Tai Po, Home for Homeless Dog is a relatively new organisation established in 2019. The founder, who has loved dogs since she was a child, quit her job and sold her property in order to build the kennel and work on it full time. The kennel rescues newborns, injured or stray dogs, while assisting in various abandonment cases, and looks for suitable adopters for them all. To adopt, you’ll need to fill in a form to meet the basic requirements and then make an appointment to visit.

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  • Sai Kung

Hong Kong Cats Charity (HKCC) is a non-profit rescue organisation based in Sai Kung that helps lost, abandoned, surrendered, neglected or abused cats and kittens find homes while caring for those injured. They hold adoption events for cats and work with the Hong Kong government’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) on educating the public about responsible pet ownership.

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  • Tai Po

Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR) is a no-kill rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming centre for dogs and puppies with two locations in the city. Their Ap Lei Chau homing centre houses smaller dogs and some puppies, while the homing centre in Tai Po has more than 400 medium- to large-sized dogs waiting for adoption. Many of the dogs rescued are ex-breeding dogs or saved from AFCD where stray dogs are captured and often destroyed. HKDR also has an Education & Training Centre that offers a variety of workshops, training and classes to help improve dog-human communication and understanding.

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Hong Kong Paws
Photograph: Facebook/HKPaws

Hong Kong Paws

Hong Kong Paws is a rescue organisation that helps both dogs and cats and is a registered animal welfare society in Hong Kong. 99 percent of the animals they work with are mongrels and domestic short hairs. They work with local animal shelters to provide the care and financial aid required for rehoming.

For more information, check out hkpaws.org

Kirsten’s Zoo
Photograph: Facebook/KirstensZooCharity

Kirsten’s Zoo

This non-profit animal organisation rescues cats, dogs, and occasionally smaller animals such as birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, and turtles. Kirsten’s Zoo is committed to finding new homes for these animals that have been abused or abandoned. They have a small cat sanctuary but rely on kind individuals to temporarily foster these animals until they are ready to be adopted. The animals are spayed or neutered and given all the necessary medical care. They also host regular adoption days, so make sure to check out their Facebook or Instagram to stay informed, and take the time to meet your potential pets first.

For more details, check out kirstenszoo.com

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  • Sai Ying Pun

With the mission to help homeless cats and dogs in Hong Kong, Lifelong Animal Protection Charity, or LAP, has two adoption locations, one for cats in Sai Ying Pun and one for dogs in Tsuen Wan. They hold adoption events on occasion, but you can call ahead and visit either one of the centres to meet any of the animals. LAP has a team dedicated to the cause, so you can contact one of them directly for your specific enquiry.

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  • Sai Kung

Sai Kung Stray Friends is a non-profit organisation and shelter that helps stray, abandoned, sick and injured dogs, providing them with medical care and rehabilitation. They have around 130 dogs at their Sai Kung kennel, all of which are still looking for homes. Visitors are welcome but pre-booking is appreciated with sessions in the morning (10.30am-1pm) and afternoon (3.30-4.30pm). They also run a meals-on-wheels program that delivers food and clean water to street dogs, and works to vaccinate and spay local village dogs in New Territories.

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  • Wan Chai

From dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and hamsters to reptiles, turtles and birds, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) rescues and rehomes a wide range of animals while dealing with all aspects of animal welfare too. They have various locations across the city, with the headquarters in Wan Chai, which offer a variety of services including veterinary, educational, training, boarding, grooming, and of course, adoption. 

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  • Ap Lei Chau

Not just a retail destination for all things pet-related, Whiskers N Paws is Asia’s first pet store that also offers adoption services. In collaboration with other animal rescues and organisations, you can adopt cats, dogs and other small animals at their in-store homing station. They have supported Hong Kong Dog Rescue with jointly held puppy adoption days; Kirsten's Zoo with kitten and cat adoption events and more. They regularly host workshops to find volunteers and search for suitable foster families for guide dog puppies.

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