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Donation means dogs can promote people welfare

27 February 2014

Dr karen with Dr Dog volunteers

Animals Asia’s Dr Dog programme has set its sights on making hundreds more visits to homes for the elderly, disabled centres, orphanages and schools in Hong Kong, thanks to the kindness of Hong Kong residents.

The work will mean that those in most need will receive a visit from a four-legged friend. Just as those who require support know that dogs won’t judge them, the work is also changing how dogs are viewed in Hong Kong and China. The programme has been described as promoting animal welfare via people welfare.

Currently plans for between 300 and 500 visits over the next 18 months are taking shape thanks to a donation from Operation Santa Claus (OSC).

The grant of $HK177,000 from OSCone of Hong Kong’s longest running charity fundraisers, is vital to the programme which has helped more than 30,000 people in Hong Kong and China since 1991. In doing so, it has helped change perceptions of companion animals - combating cruelty and the corrupt dog and cat meat trade along the way.

The sum will help the volunteer-run scheme afford basic necessities such as travel expenses, recruitment, uniforms, merchandising and meet administrative costs.

Karina O'Carroll, Animal Welfare Education Manager for Animals Asia, said:

“Our Animals Asia staff, teams of enthusiastic volunteers and their therapy dogs, would like to thank all those involved with Operation Santa Claus for this wonderful donation. We will be able to continue to bring the programme to numerous people in need in 2014, all across Hong Kong and continue to promote animal welfare through people welfare.”

A large number of individual charity events make up Operation Santa Claus, which is co-organised by the South China Morning Post and Radio Television Hong Kong, ranging from street fairs to football games.

First launched in 1988, the fundraiser has so far contributed HK$209 million to 194 charity projects.