An animal welfare charity, Team for Animals In Lantau South (TAILS), has said that they will stop accepting new animals for adoption as they are “full.” The founder has said there were fewer foster carers and adoptions after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Animal adoption
Denver, a 7 months mixed breed dog which is currently up for adoption. Photo: TAILS

Founded in 2018, TAILS is a registered animal welfare charity based in South Lantau, and is run by a group of volunteers, who rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals in need.

tails adoption
Ruth and Anitca, three-month-old mixed breeds.

In a press release last Friday, founder Esslin Terrighena said that there were over 75 animals in their care at the moment, and it was far more than they could support financially or practically.

She said that they had a budget that barely covered 50 animals and, suddenly, having 50 per cent more animals to look after created significant financial distress. “We are beyond our limits, and we are full,” Terrighena said.

tails adoption
Twain, a three-month-old male mixed breed.

She added that, while most of the animals came with multiple health issues, together with a recent increase in veterinary fees, TAILS had “ever-mounting medical bills.”

“It is unbelievably hard for us to turn away any animal in need, but right now, we are beyond our limits, and we are full,” she said. “In part, we have so many animals because people do not respect the boundary we set when we say that we are full, and simply drop off cats and dogs at our doorstep without our agreement.”

The NGO had therefore made a decision to concentrate on the 75 animals in its care, she said.

Fewer adopters and fosters

Terrighena told HKFP that they had no dedicated premises and rely fully on the homes of adopters or foster carers: “There is a lack of foster and adopter families in Hong Kong, in part due to people going back to work from the office, and travelling more.”

Animal adoption
Batcat, a 7 months domestic shorthair cat which is currently up for adoption. Photo: TAILS

She said that there were still many animals being abandoned for different reasons, including leaving the city, pets having grown too big, financial issues, behavioural problems, age or health issues.

Terrighena added that there was an increase in stray cats and dogs. There was a shortage of qualified veterinary staff at clinics during Covid-19, making it harder to get stray animals desexed and, now, those animals were having offspring.

The founder of TAILS, Esslin Terrighena
The founder of TAILS, Esslin Terrighena. Photo: TAILS

Terrighena called on supporters to foster, adopt or volunteer, as well as make donations.

Support HKFP  |  Policies & Ethics  |  Error/typo?  |  Contact Us  |  Newsletter  | Transparency & Annual Report | Apps

Help safeguard press freedom & keep HKFP free for all readers by supporting our team

contribute to hkfp methods
tote bag support
YouTube video

Support press freedom & help us surpass 1,000 monthly Patrons: 100% independent, governed by an ethics code & not-for-profit.

Success! You're on the list.

Mandy Cheng is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. Previously, she worked at Ming Pao, focusing on investigative and feature reporting. She also contributed to Cable TV and others.