Macau’s House of Shame: Good news and bad news on 533 greyhounds

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News from Macau’s House of Shame, also known as the Canidrome, is both good and bad, Clearwater Bay, Sai Kung resident Pat Trainor said. Pat has been travelling to Macau with his wife most weekends to help look after the 533 dogs there. Pat and Kathleen have taken four of the dogs into their care.

The Government has backed off from its demand that all greyhounds be desexed within two months, because many groups made a public fuss about the danger of infection to the animals in insanitary conditions. Pat said the Government requires every dog to be desexed before it leaves Macau, but in a private vet outside of the Canidrome and in clean conditions. (Macau’s Government ordered closure of the Canidrome two years ago because of international protest about the house of cruelty and death.)

More than 30 of the dogs are in a separate kennel getting special medical attention.  The hundreds of others are kept in cement cages about 5 ft by 6 ft, built on two levels. Volunteers and staff hired by Anima, the Macau charity, are keeping the place in good condition. The dogs are walked and fed two times a day. Volunteers can walk only 1-2 at a time, but experienced Canidrome handlers can walk five simultaneously.

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Clearwater Bay resident Pat Trainor with Rich

A team of veterinarians has arrived from Australia. Most of the greyhounds were sent to Macau from the country. Pat said, “Australia feels remorse.” The vets are checking the health of each dog and giving them a brief behavioral analysis. Treatment is provided as needed.  Once the health checks are complete and Anima can get the adoption process in line, suitable dogs will be available for adoption towards the end of 2018.

The proprietor of the House of Shame, Angela Leong, multi-billionaire owner of the Canidrome, won’t spend a cent unless embarrassment over public pressure forces her into it. “There is no sign she does anything because it is the right thing to do.” The Government, to its credit, has threatened her with fines per dog. She responded by saying she had found flats to house the dogs. There was a howl of protest because of unsatisfactory conditions for the animals. The Government refused to accept Leong’s offer. Anima has identified industrial park space where the dogs could be kept, but the Government refused this.

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One of the Macau greyhounds up for adoption

It is said that 650 applications had been previously filed for adopting the greyhounds, but the process is starting anew to validate if those people are still interested as well as entertaining new adoptees.  “Some dogs are quite old, so there is little hope for them,” Pat said. The Macau Chief Executive’s wife, Winnie Fok, has offered support for the adoptions.
Pat said he and his wife will continue their weekend volunteer work at the Canidrome while moving forward with the adoption process for their greyhound, Cognac, and two other dogs that have found homes. Pat and Kathleen are looking for a family to give a home to the fourth greyhound they have taken responsibility for. Anyone interested in adopting this dog may contact their adoption supporter at kirstszoo@hotmail.com

 

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