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How long you have been doing this?
How did you come to do this, your love of the furry kind etc…..
I have always been concerned with the welfare of animals. I became a vegetarian aged eight, and stuck by it despite my parents wishes!
I rallied my school friends and family to raise awareness and money for local animal charities, and when I was old enough I started volunteering at local rescue centres.
I started Hong Kong Cats in 2015 by fluke to be perfectly honest. In my village, a couple of elderly neighbours were feeding the street cat colony (they still are), and bringing the friendly cats or kittens into their homes. One neighbor has about ten cats. I knew I could help by paying to have the cats de-sexed, which would help control the size of the colony. And I knew that I could find homes for the friendly cats by using social media (which my elderly neighbours never would be using). We got our village under control within about a month, including rehoming several. Word spread, and I also joined the SPCA Cat Colony Care Programme (CCCP) volunteer, so people in other villages were contacting me to help. There are several organisations taking care of dogs in Sai Kung, but none for cats. This is almost true of the whole of Hong Kong to be honest. Some other notable cat charities include Kirsten Zoo, covering the Island mostly, so Hong Kong Cats grew across Kowloon.
The facebook page that I began grew organically and now has a few thousand members, regularly interacting with each other on posts.
I had a couple of initial meetings with the AFCD to discuss how we can work together, and they signed me up as a recognised partner organization, which means that they will call me first when they have cats that end up in one of their centres that are suitable for rehoming. They release the cats to me and trust me to take care of the rest of the process without need for very much follow up. At the same time, they have requested me to speak at several events that they have organized around Hong Kong, usually on the topic of sensible pet ownership and on the topic of “Adopt don’t shop”. AFCD organized for the producers of the content that used to be played on all the TVs on public buses to film a segment on Hong Kong Cats. This helped spread the information of the work Hong Kong Cats does through the Chinese-speaking community.
I also receive a great deal of support from the local publications eg Sai Kung Magazine and Sai Kung Buzz (popular online newspaper) and the community. When people find abandoned cats, kittens left in bins, or people need to rehome their own cats when they don’t take them with them when they leave Hong Kong, they will post or contact me for help. Last year, a pet shop in Sai Kung town closed down and merely tossed the cats out onto the street. There were suddenly ‘pure breed’ cats around Sai Kung, and the community and local media helped alert Hong Kong Cats and help spread the word to find suitable homes.
A number of bars and restaurants around Hong Kong and Central have offered to support Hong Kong Cats by organizing fundraising events and/or have allowed a donation box on their counters.
I’m really pleased with the progress Hong Kong Cats has made, and also from the amount of support I receive from the community.
If you have done any big noteworthy projects tell me about them…..
Two significant projects along the way come to mind. The “Pet shop incident” mentioned above was a milestone, because it showed that when there was a ‘crisis’ in the local community, Hong Kong Cats was overwhelmed with alert messages as peoples first port of call. It was Hong Kong Cats that uncovered the pet shop as the source of these cats being on the street. And (due to the cats being pure breeds) there was an uptick in requests from adopters from across Hong Kong.
An ongoing project has been a long-term engagement exercise with local store owners (who frankly haven’t been helpful), and educating them about the street cat colony, that these cats see the alleyways as their home, and introducing the work that Hong Kong Cats does and can do if the store owners call us in. For months we have been seeing cats injured (boiling water thrown over them) and have been caring for those we can capture. We have spoken to store owners to grant us access to the backs of their shops and rooftops where the cats live, to set up traps. Our work has been featured several times by Sai Kung Buzz magazine. Hong Kong Cats has worked with the SPCA to speak to people about the incidents and to put up posters with our information on to call. We have successfully taken a number of cats from the area into our care for rehoming.
On your pictures can you give me some background please?
See separate attachment.
Which vets do you use?
I use a handful, because they are better at different things and in different locations across Hong Kong, which helps my fosterers and adopters with appointments.
I most regularly work with the SPCA and Pets Central. I am a registered CCCP volunteer with the SPCA, which means the SPCA helps with de-sexing cats that we know will go back onto the street i.e they are unsuitable for domestic life. I have a good working relationship with the senior vets, who rotate around the SPCA clinics across Hong Kong. Because it is just me running Hong Kong Cats, they see me dropping cats in every week. The SPCA trusts me and has arranged a Memorandum of Understanding for Hong Kong Cats. What this means is that they allow me to use one account across all their centres. They also allow me to book appointments for fosterers and adopters, and follow up with me with feedback and questions.
I also work well with Pets Central. Again, what began as a relationship with the senior vets in the Sai Kung branch has expanded across Hong Kong. Pet Central has held adoption events for me in their Mongkok and North Point centres, typically every couple of months. They have also given their support to partner and create an education series of videos that will sit on my website. Likewise, I have been asked to speak on videos published by them, which are on loop in their centres.
I also use Best Friend Vets and Sai Kung Animal Hospital locally to Sai Kung. Brad who runs BFV is a specialist, so I usually take my more extreme cases to him for attention eg blood and dental work.
Have you got the exemption from the Animal Trading Licence yet?
In progress. I have submitted all forms to the government in April, and they did send me a letter acknowledging receipt of my application. Now awaiting their official reply.
When was the society dissolved, was there any money that is being gifted to the Limited?
May 2017. Once we successfully registered HK Cats as a business we dissolved the society. I received a letter actually, telling me to write a letter informing the police/govt that the society should be dissolved, so I’ve done this. No reply acknowledging receipt though.
Do you have accounts? Any paperwork that shows dissolution please.
Nothing. I have not received a reply to my letter.
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