Dog adoption

Information about the adoption process for dogs in Hong Kong

According to the Hong Kong Dog Rescue, the Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) puts down an estimated 7,000 dogs and puppies each year. Adopting a dog in Hong Kong relieves pressure form the city's overstretched and under-resourced shelters, doing their best to help re-home four-legged friends around Hong Kong. But, before you take the plunge and welcome a dog into your home, there are several important things to consider.

Permissions and consent

    • Building regulations – regardless of whether you lease or own your apartment, you’ll need to check that dogs are permitted in the building.
    • Landlord permission – some rental agreements will include a clause that requires a landlord’s consent for a dog to live in the apartment, so be sure to obtain this in writing before anything else.

    Associated costs 

    Caring for an animal requires a monetary as well as time commitment. Some of the associated costs include:

    • Re-homing fee – most rescue shelters charge a nominal fee which covers the expenses associated with de-sexing and vaccinating a dog, as well as filing the appropriate licensing and documentation.
    • Regular vaccinations – the SPCA recommends renewed rabies vaccinations every three years, and a DHPPiL vaccination annually (protecting against Distemper, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Hepatitis).
    • Emergency veterinary care – overnight admissions at animal hospitals and complex procedures often require a deposit to be made, while the overall costs may vary depending on the severity of the condition and the size of the animal.
      • In the event of an emergency, call the SPCA 24-hour hotline: 2711 1000

    Time commitment 

    If you’re ready to adopt a dog, ensuring you have the time to care for an animal is a necessity. All animals, regardless of size, should be taken on three walks a day. Rescued dogs, in particular, shouldn’t be regularly left alone for significant periods of time. If you work long hours or spend time away from home frequently, a reliable dog walker or dog sitter is essential. For short-term, last-minute solutions, registered dog walkers and pet-sitters can be hired through websites like Pawshake.

    Where to adopt

    If you are ready to adopt, the city has a number of rescue shelters and homing centres with dogs waiting to find a new home, including:

    Many shelters will ask a potential dog owner to fill out an Adoption Questionnaire, which can be a useful checklist to make sure you are prepared to adopt.
    If you aren’t quite ready, there are plenty of other ways you can give back. The organisations mentioned above are constantly on the lookout for volunteers, and rely solely on donations to look after the rescued animals in their care.