years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Animals Asia concerned over treatment of spaniel at HK dog show
03 Jun 2008
Animals Asia, which is currently rescuing dogs from the Sichuan earthquake, is alarmed by the treatment of a dog at a Hong Kong dog show on Saturday (May 31).
A video clip, which has been posted on You Tube, shows the male owner of an American cocker spaniel picking the dog up by the tail and neck and rocking it back and forth. The film was taken at the Hong Kong & Kowloon Kennel Association’s Dog Show in Kowloon Bay.
The clip can be viewed here. It is believed that instead of chastising the owner, the judges passed the dog through to the semi-final round of the Hunting Dog Group.
Animals Asia’s Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Dr Heather Bacon, said the treatment of the dog was completely unacceptable. “I would expect that the risks of such handling would include pain and discomfort, potential dislocation of the coccygeal vertebrae and nerve damage, especially if the dog wriggled or tried to pull away when being handled like this,” Dr Bacon said. “I would absolutely not endorse a dog being handled in this manner.”
Another of Animals Asia’s veterinary team, Dr Jen O’Dywer, concurred. “Permanent nerve damage to the tail can occur from such handling. This is definitely not appropriate handling,” she said.
Animals Asia founder and CEO Jill Robinson, who has spearheaded an emergency rescue of family dogs in the earthquake-struck city of Dujiangyiang, said she was horrified by the clip, particularly as the owner was acting in full view of the judges, who chose to ignore his behaviour.
“This poor dog was being treated like an inanimate toy, not a sentient being with feelings. The owner seemed to have no understanding at all that animals have feelings. How different to the treatment of dogs we have seen over the past couple of weeks in Sichuan – here people have lost almost everything – family members, their homes, their livelihoods and yet they care so deeply for their pet dogs,” Ms Robinson said.
Animals Asia is helping earthquake survivors by taking their dogs for safe-keeping until their families can look after them again. The Hong Kong-headquartered charity has set up a receiving station at a local vet clinic and a hotline for pet owners to call – and survivors are lining up to hand over their pet dogs.
Animals Asia, which has a sanctuary in Chengdu for moon bears rescued from cruel bile farms, decided to act when it heard the authorities in Dujiangyiang were implementing a cull of all dogs because of fears they would spread disease. To date, the Animals Asia team has rescued 105 dogs and three cats, bringing them to Chengdu, some to an animal shelter, others to its rescue centre for urgent medical attention.
Ms Robinson said the rescue of dogs and cats would continue over the next few days.
Photos of the dog rescue can be downloaded from here