Cruelty to cats is common in our district, according to Emily Allington. She is Sai Kung’s Number One Catwoman, at least in the gweilo community. Boiling water has repeatedly been thrown over cats at the buildings housing Italiano’s, Butcher King, Anthony’s Ranch and Cava, Emily said. Older cats formerly used for breeding were dumped in an Old Town street, traumatised and in a lot of distress.
Emily believes restaurant staff* in the above buildings tried to get rid of the cats. They called the AFCD which was unable to catch them. The staff took to throwing boiling water over the animals in an effort to scare them off. Emily took photos of seven injured cats. “They were missing chunks of fur, all scabby and bloody. One had only a few patches of fur left,” Emily said.
Cruelty to animals is against the law in Hong Kong, as in any civilised society. The police have been informed and have launched an investigation. Emily said she has rescued five kittens from the buildings. One died and she has homed the others. She believes about 10 cats remain there and she fears the boiling water attacks will continue.
In the Old Town seven cats from a pet shop were abandoned in the street. “They were five to six years old and no longer fit for breeding,” Emily said. “I found them in the street, some in a lot of distress, traumatised. One was so scared it was sitting in its own urine. It stank and was too afraid to move.” All of these old cats needed dental treatment at $2000 to $3000 a time. Emily said all of the cats were treated and have been homed.
Emily founded the animal welfare society, Hong Kong Cats. She said the biggest need in Sai Kung is desexing. Volunteers and drivers are required to borrow traps, catch the animals and get them desexed, which the SPCA will do for free. The SPCA can send a mobile desexing clinic. Every village in Sai Kung has colonies of cats. Tan Cheung, near the Scared Heart Church where Emily lives with her husband, has five cat colonies. Typically a cat colony has five to seven members with clear territorial boundaries. Cat flu is rife. “I’ll pick them up if I see they have infected eyes. Sometimes they can’t open them and they lose their eyes.”
SPCA deputy director for welfare Dr Fiona Woodhouse has been quoted in SAI KUNG BUZZ saying Sai Kung is comparatively short of animal welfare volunteers. They are needed for the SPCA’s cat colony care programme (see the SPCA website).
Emily agreed with this. “Definitely Sai Kung is low on people coming forward. It is not that I care for cats more than I do for other animals. It is just that I see the need. Kittens dumped in rubbish bins for example. This happens all the time especially in the summer. I have seen seven cases this year so far. If they are just born, half will live and half will die.” Donations of food are needed, Emily said. Too many people trying to care for cats give them the wrong sort of food.
Volunteers to deliver the food are wanted,too. Money is needed as well: Emily says her veterinary bills average $10,000 a month. Homes are needed for many kittens now being fostered. She said interested people may visit the kittens.
If you would like to help you can donate to Hong Kong Cats account CN184411 at the SPCA or to the bank account BOC 012-617-0-003915-6.
To volunteer, contact or telephone 5131 3921.
Cats available for adoption at Emily`s charity: http://hongkongcats.org/adopt/