A total of 533 greyhounds are being looked after at the Macau Canidrome by volunteers following their apparent abandonment by Angela Leong, proprietor of the House of Shame. After the lease on the Canidrome expired a few days ago Angela, fourth concubine of gaming magnate Stanley Ho, stopped paying the workers and locked them out. According to the Macau animal welfare charity, Anima, the disgraced canidrome owner turned the dogs over to the Macau Government. BUZZ visited the Canidrome yesterday and found it locked up with hundreds of dogs still inside in concrete kennels in the heat. Some fast-moving Hong Kong people have successfully adopted greyhounds.
Zoe Tang, Anima dog shelter supervisor, said, “We have got 400 volunteers together to look after the dogs. 80 are working the morning shift and 80 the afternoon, feeding them and exercising them.” The Government is now key to the future of the dogs, Zoe said. Plans have been put to the officials by Anima and the Government decision will be announced shortly.
One volunteer said, “Angela should be jailed for walking away from the staff and the dogs’ welfare.” Angela is a Macau legislator, director of Yat Yuen, owner of the Canidrome, and a director of STDM, Stanley’s casino owning group. She is reported to have a net worth of $4 billion plus. She had two years warning that the Government would not renew the Canidrome’s lease after decades of criticism by animal welfare groups led by Anima and bad publicity in the international press. The Guardian wrote that the Macau dog track was notorious for cruel conditions — dogs piled one on top of the other in small cages — and high death rates. An Australian senator said no dog ever came out of the Canidrome alive. Greyhounds that did not perform well were euthanised. BUZZ dubbed the Canidrome the House of Shame.
Successful greyhound adopters in Hong Kong include Pat and Kathleen Trainor. Kathleen said she and Pat have taken charge of four greyhounds, one they will keep and three to be homed. Last weekend Kathleen worked at the Canidrome alongside about 100 other volunteers, cleaning cages and caring for the dogs.
Kathleen said, “A lot are not in good health. They have skin rashes. They live in cells with barred doors and pee and poop in their own cells and then lie in it. This causes skin rashes. Some have problems walking. Some are in very good health.”
Who is really in charge of the dogs seems to be changing every hour, even every minute, she said. The local press report Angela is going to do the right thing by the dogs, then she isn’t. Kathleen made a plea to the Hong Kong AFCD to extend the period for registration of greyhound adoption. Now the deadline is 31 August. All of the requirements are time-consuming: blood test, desexing, inoculations, quarantine periods in Macau and here. This means if you wish to adopt you have to do it next week, she said.
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