Cyberport Waterfront Park management has bolstered precautions since the uptick of dog poisoning incidents over the weekend which saw four pets die and two others fighting for their lives. In a statement to HKFP on Tuesday, it expressed “deep concern” and “strongly condemned any act of animal cruelty.”
“The Park has been the haven of many families and pet lovers with their pet members. To ensure the provision of quality environment and safety of park users, Cyberport has been working closely with the Hong Kong Police and the district councillor,” the statement read.
“In view of the worsening situation, we have escalated our work with the Police and SPCA in discussing measures to be taken, while maintaining close contact with the district councillor and members of pet-lovers community.” Measures included increased park patrols, displaying more notices to raise awareness, and providing onsite staff with information on emergency pet services.
“Apart from maintaining a close collaboration with the Hong Kong Police, SPCA, district councillor and relevant parties, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and review the measures regularly,” the statement continued.
Management also confirmed the Police had conducted a thorough site inspection on Monday.
Separately, the police told HKFP they were currently investigating one case of fatal dog poisoning on Sunday and a similar incident reported at the end of January.
“The police always attaches importance to all cases of suspected animal cruelty, and will actively prevent and investigate related crimes in a multi-agency cooperation model,” said a statement from the force on Tuesday.
‘Protect your pets’
In conjunction with Cyberport management and the force, the SPCA told HKFP it has increased its efforts to warn and inform dog owners on how to protect their pets through flyers and notices since late January.
“We will focus on educating pet owners and giving out reminders to pet owners to prevent any further loss while at the same time working closely with the police in the hope to find the culprit ASAP,” it said in response to HKFP’s queries.
“During our regular patrol in the last few days, we could still see dog owners walking their pets without a leash or a basket muzzle; we urge all owners to take precautionary measures to protect their pets.”
“The SPCA urges all dog owners to leash their pets and keep an eye on them at all time when out for a walk. All pets should wear a basket muzzle to further reduce the risk of ingesting anything from the ground. Pet owners should also keep their pets away from bushes and planters, as well as refrain from letting them out of sight,” an email statement read.
“Should owner observe any symptoms of pets being poisoned or feeling unwell, (panting, vomiting, hyperthermia, stiff limbs) please seek veterinary care and treatment ASAP at a nearby vet clinic,” it added.
The SPCA told HKFP it had not yet received any tips concerning the culprit. It called on anyone with information to call the police: “Should any member notice any suspicious items which looks like a poisonous bait, please be in touch with the police directly to prevent any other cases from happening.”
A donor has offered a reward of HK$100,000 through the SPCA since late January to anyone with information leading to the culprit’s arrest.
The maximum penalty for acts of animal cruelty in Hong Kong is a HK$200,000 fine and three years imprisonment.
Update 11.02.21: A total of 11 dogs have affected since Sunday, according to police reports. Five animals have passed away while another remains at VSH in a critical condition, according to the hospital.