Images of dogs feeding on the carcasses of other dogs at a Yuen Long shelter were published yesterday on the website of an animal welfare group.
The photographs show some carcasses reduced to bones, while one dog appeared to have died trapped between the bars of a gate as it tried to escape.
The six photos, posted on the Facebook page of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, offers the public a glimpse for the first time at the horrific conditions endured by 74 dogs at the Ng Ka Tsuen Dog Shelter in Kam Tin.
The photographs were taken when the neglect came to light in February. By then, 20 of the animals were dead.
“I’ve seen some pretty awful sites … but I’ve never seen dogs eating each other before,” Sally Andersen, of Hong Kong Dog Rescue, said.
The owner, Li Pui-seung, was sentenced on Wednesday to 160 hours of community service and fined HK$1,000.
Tuen Mun Court heard that a volunteer, whom Li had asked to help, failed to take care of the dogs but did not notify her.
The SPCA’s decision to upload the unsettling pictures online drew condemnation from Poon Siu-man, who claimed to be in charge of the shelter now. She accused the group of “rubbing salt into the wounds”.
The SPCA had told her the public needed to know the truth, she said. But, she added: “Whatever happened has happened. We can only keep our promise not to let history repeat itself.”
Poon said Li was kind-hearted and was always ready to lend a hand at other animal shelters. Now that she was in trouble, people from those other shelters were pitching in to help her. Ng Ka Tsuen Dog Shelter was back to normal, caring for more than 60 rescue dogs, she added.
SPCA spokeswoman Rebecca Ngan Yee-ling agreed that the conditions at the dogs home had improved, according to the group’s most recent site visit.
But the premises were still overcrowded, a problem common among a lot of independent homes for dogs, Ngan said.
She added that the SPCA acknowledged that the online pictures were very graphic, “but we put them on Facebook because not many people get to go to a dog shelter”.
She said: “We are not trying to condemn a particular dog shelter. Instead, we want to raise awareness and to help shelters.”
On the internet, some Facebook users criticised the Kam Tin shelter for subjecting the dogs to “cannibalism” , while others said they understood that it had been established with good intentions and things had gone wrong.
Taken from SCMP.