The bodies of five stray dogs that are believed to have been poisoned have been found on Cheung Chau Island on Wednesday.
A passerby notified police at around 9am of five mongrel dogs – four females and one male – lying motionless on Cheung Chau Beach Road, some of which had foam coming out of their mouths. Images posted on social media showed broken packets of blue gel scattered near to the bodies.
The case is now classified as animal cruelty, according to the police. No arrests have been made so far.
“Our informants suspect the dogs were poisoned by some people,” a police spokesperson told HKFP. “The case is still under investigation so we cannot draw a conclusion yet.”
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told HKFP that their charity is holding the five bodies. An initial examination revealed that the male dog was microchipped. The NGO said it would transfer them to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) for forensic toxicology analysis.
The government handles 5,000 to 7,000 stray dogs annually, according to the AFCD.
During a three-year monitoring programme by the AFCD across sites in Cheung Chau and Tai Tong in Yuen Long, the number of stray dog complaints rose from 19 between 2014 and 2015 to 27 between 2016 and last year. The dogs reported to the authorities were captured, neutered and returned to their habitats.