Dr Matthew Murdoch has emerged as the most diversified animal professional in Sai Kung after buying Ferndale Kennels and Cattery from Stacy Tucker. Stacy and her Zimbabwean husband, Dr Rob Gordon, also a vet, have shifted to the green fields of New Zealand.
Stacy writes that the move south, after 45 years in Hong Kong, has been a big change. “It is good for the boys (Kevin and Ryan). They love it and are doing very well at school.” Stacy, Rob and the teenagers are living outside Hamilton, Waikato, in the country. “We brought our animals and can’t live in town. We’ve got too many. Not that we would want to live in the city, anyway. I do love having our own house and living in the middle of the fields. It’s beautiful.”
Matthew now owns Homevet, the mobile veterinary service, and Ferndale’s pet boarding and shipping businesses. Will he change the Pak Tam Chung operation much? “No. What we are doing is renovation. The site is old, about 20 years. We are air-conditioning kennels. Generally we are giving the place some love and care.”
Stacy was happy to sell to him, Matthew said. “I have been doing health check-ups for Stacy for years. She knows I will carry on her baby. She knows I can be trusted to look after it and its animals.” Matthew, a 42-year-old Sha Kok Mei resident, said the biggest business at Ferndale is pet import and export, managed by Carmen Yick. At present 10 dogs and five cats are boarding at the site just inside the country park, plus six animals that are long-term charity cases. It is the off-season: Ferndale kennels and cattery fills up with boarders at Christmas, Chinese new year and the summer holiday season.
Homevet’s clinic-in-a-car is seen around the district daily. It is operated most of the time by Matthew and part-time by two woman vets. The service is valuable especially when your pet has become so old, its quality of life has gone and you know it needs to be saved from further suffering. It can be put to sleep in its own bed or in your lap. A downbeat note to finish on. But it is a point worth reiterating for people facing the hated choice.