[Pet migration part 2] Pet abandon cases tripled amidst acute shortage of pet flight seats

[Pet migration part 2] Pet abandon cases tripled amidst acute shortage of pet flight seats

Translated by Guardians of Hong Kong, November 01, 2021

An organisation claims that the number of abandoned pets they received has tripled. After the social movement, Covid-19 pandemic and implementation of National Security Law, many pets were abandoned by owners who migrated to other countries. Like many Hongkongers, the pets have very few choices.


Salad Mom and abandoned pets

Since last year, pets abandoned cases surged three times compared to the same period last year. Salad Mom (CHAN Wai-chun) is the only person managing “Maison de Charlotte pour des Chats et des Chiens” (MCCC), an accommodation house for abandoned cats and dogs in Yuen Long. Recently, Salad Mom works very hard under pressure every day to take care of the sharply increased number of dogs and cats in MCCC. She says MCCC normally received 1 to 2 abandoned pets every year but situation quickly worsened this year (2021). One day she even got 4 cases. Most of the owners claimed that they were going to migrate, or lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most of the pets have difficulty adapting to the environment in MCCC. Some may never know that they would be here for the rest of their lives. “I don’t mind looking after a few more, but they have feelings. Don’t treat them as idiots. They also have life-long loyalties.”

Salad Mom shares that some owners were extremely irresponsible - she once received a pet just one day before the owner left Hong Kong. Also, most of the abandoned pets are sick and elderly. Salad Mom comments that many owners tried to rationalize their behaviour to persuade her to “clean up their mess”.

She also opines that these owners don’t have the right to control the lives of their pets.

“If you treat them as your family members, you wouldn't bear to abandon them, unless you treat them just as pets." says Salad Mom.


Jennie HO and her pet clients

Latest population statistics show that nearly 90,000 residents left Hong Kong in the past year. The record high amount of Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) withdrawal supports the trend too. This is just a start. 

Jennie HO, a pet migration consultant, points out that the trend started in 2019 with a peak season from April to August this year when about 150 to 200 pets were successfully migrated. The number of enquiries is still standing high. Some owners are planning their migration next year (2022) while some even enquire about 2023 or 2024.

Ho explained that some species or older pets cannot handle civil flights due to health situation or body fitness. She suggests owners to do medical consultations for their pets before selecting flights. 

If the pets are not suitable for civil flights, owners have to arrange private jets, one flight for one pet exclusively. Take an example of UK, the charge is about HK$200k to 300k. Some owners chose to abandon their pets due to the steep costs.

Apart from preparing documentations, health checks and tests before pets migration, Jennie suggests owners to train their pets to cope with long haul flights as early as possible. For example put their pets into a flight cages at home together with some pet toys or owners’ clothes. This will increase the safety feeling of the pets when they stay in the cage during the flights.

“Since you adopted and lived with the pets, you should have feelings for them as lives. I hope the owners endear lives.”


Source: The Stand News #Sep05

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