The SPCA has sent uniformed inspectors to Christian New Being Fellowship camp in the country park because of complaints from residents about ill-treatment of big dogs confined in small cages.
More than 20 dogs are in tin-sided cages so small they can barely turn about. “We think this is cruelty,” said Roger Medcalf, who visited the drug rehab centre with another animal welfare activist, Carol Biddell. “Perhaps unwitting cruelty. Dogs should never be locked in little cages. “
The remote camp is located beyond Pak Tam Chung and below the Lady Maclehose village. The camp’s slogan: “Drugs Harm, Jesus Saves”. Roger, a four-year committee member of the SPCA (also BUZZ editor), and his friend took photos. The rehab centre has masses of space and big compounds in which the dogs can run.
When the activists hiked there on a Sunday no human was at the centre. Agitated by the visitors the dogs leapt about in their cages banging against the bars, walls and roofs.
“Some dogs appear crazed by the confinement, others seem psychologically beaten,” Roger said.
The activists informed the SPCA asking that inspectors be sent to see the New Being managers and advise them how to look after the animals properly. Cruelty to animals is prohibited by Hong Kong law.
The SPCA’s chief inspector Karl Mak gave an update after their visit: “We can’t find any offence against the current cruelty law but we reminded the operator to provide the dogs with as many (sic) exercise as possible. There is certainly room for improvement for this site but honestly under the current law we can not prosecute the operator but only can give advice and reminder. We will keep monitoring them and if they cross the line, we will certainly take action.” Karl said the camp dogs appeared healthy with good body shape and there was no sign of negligence.
Carol noted New Being uses dogs for teaching rehab students about animal training. They do this also for a fee in Sai Kung town near the waterfront where there is a dog swimming pool. She noted SPCA requests to the camp that they be allowed to see the dog training were turned down. “How can they offer a dog training service to the public when they have no concept of how to care for their own dogs!” Carol said.
The Christian New Being Fellowship claims to have helped 1000 young people recover from drug addiction.
More images from the Christian New Being Fellowship camp.