Dog kennels being kept on a tight lease

The government should relax the rules on leases for private animal shelters so that stray dogs don’t end up on “death row” every few years, a kennel owner says.

Animal welfare centres are typically granted only short-term leases, at the end of which they face eviction as they struggle to find new premises.

The problem looms for the Sai Kung Stray Friends Foundation. It signed a five-year lease on a new site in Ma On Shan but is scrambling to get government approval to start construction before its current Sai Kung landlord calls time in December on a six-month rental extension.

“We take [dogs] from government kennels all the time,” Sally Anderson, of Hong Kong Dog Rescue, said. “It would be great if we could get something back.”

Most government land is granted on short-term leases that range from three to five years, usually while the government decides on development plans.

Anderson said while the rents were just 3 per cent of the market rate, a kennel also faced the cost of tearing down its existing shelter and building a new one each time it relocated, all of which could run into millions of dollars.

Read more at SCMP


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