HKDR BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
HKDR was set up in 2002, registered as a Society in August 2003 and in March 2005 gained full charity status. It is run by founder, Sally Andersen, with the support of many dedicated volunteers. Sally had been rescuing and rehoming dogs for many years before forming a recognised organisation which would allow dogs to be taken from AFCD kennels where they were due to be destroyed. Her home on Lamma Island continues to be a refuge for many dogs that have not been adopted and are now considered to be permanent. HKDR is entirely self-financed and funds are raised through donations, fund raising events, collection boxes in vet clinics and bars, and sales of donated dog-related products and Hills Science Diet dog food in the kennels shop. Some individuals, schools or companies also organise their own fundraising events on behalf of HKDR. Previous to acquiring the Pokfulam kennels, all dogs and puppies were kept at Sally’s house on Lamma Island. The dogs still remaining are mostly puppies that weren’t lucky enough to be adopted, and have grown into adults that are now considered to be unhomeable but continue to be taken care of by HKDR. Small puppies are still taken to Lamma for quarantining before being moved to the kennels for re-homing. Adult dogs and older puppies are now housed at the Pokfulam Kennel facility, which used to be the old Victoria kennels. Volunteers clean, feed and walk the dogs, and help take them to the vet for check ups, vaccination and de-sexing. There are also volunteers who help specifically with running the various aspects of HKDR, such as the Volunteer Co-ordinator , Accounts and Book keeping, Chinese Adoption Co-ordinator, Foster Co-ordinator, and so on. A Committee of the longer-term volunteers was formed to decide on HKDR policy and to discuss all matters relating to the running and management of the kennels. The dogs that are kept at Pokfulam Kennels almost all come from the AFCD Animal Management Centres in either Pokfulam or occasionally Kowloon, Shatin and Sheung Shui. These are dogs/puppies that have either been found as strays and handed in to AFCD or SPCA by members of the public, have been caught by the government dog catchers, or have been surrendered by their owners directly to AFCD. A few dogs have been accepted by HKDR directly from their owners for re-homing, and some were just abandoned at the kennels. Almost all the dogs are traumatised at being abandoned, especially those that come from the AFCD kennels where life is harsh and dogs of all types are housed together, irrespective of age or health. For the small, pampered lap dog, this experience leaves them terrified and confused, and it takes time for them to overcome their fear. Many of the small dogs respond to their anxiety by biting, and some of the work of the HKDR volunteers is to spend time with these dogs to help them adjust to kennel life so that they can be adopted. It is HKDR policy that all dogs be treated with respect and kindness, and that all training and rehabilitation is done by positive reinforcement, never punishment. Many dogs are abandoned by their owners because of behaviour problems caused by bad, or no, training. HKDR believes that education about the keeping of dogs as pets is vital to prevent cruelty through ignorance and the abandonment of so many. We also encourage the de-sexing of all dogs, and insist on de-sexing for all puppies adopted through HKDR if not already done. All adult dogs are routinely de-sexed prior to adoption. HKDR offers follow-up support and advice to all adopters, especially first time dog owners. It is the aim of HKDR, along with many other animal rescue organisations, that the de-sexing of pets becomes the norm rather than the exception, and that the selling of puppies and kittens in pet shops be banned, as it is in many other countries. HKDR supports the introduction of schemes such as TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return) for stray dogs instead of the current method of killing by AFCD, something that has been proven to be totally ineffective in controlling wild animal populations worldwide. HKDR also supports the control of numbers of puppies imported, and the strict enforcement of laws regarding the standard of care in registered breeding kennels, and the microchipping of all puppies sold.