Three pet dogs are believed to have been poisoned to death over a 72-hour period on southwest Hong Kong Island last week, sparking a criminal investigation, police said on Monday.
The three suspected poisonings were reported to police between July 12 and 14, and each took place in areas of Pok Fu Lam such as Cyberport Waterfront Park and Victoria Road. Another police report was filed on July 17, when a passer-by found suspected poisoned bait on Victoria Road.
A police spokesman said the dogs involved were a Japanese Spitz, a Labrador and a mongrel.
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“The pet owners told police that they walked their pets in that area in the morning and their dogs later fell ill and died on the same day,” he said, adding a necropsy and toxicological exam would be conducted to determine if the animals had been poisoned.
While no arrests have yet been made, more than 50 officers, including Police Tactical Unit personnel, were deployed to the area to gather evidence and search for suspected poisoned bait on Monday afternoon.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said they made on-site visits last Friday and Saturday after receiving the reports and placed posters in the area warning pet owners.
“You have to look around to make sure your dog will not eat any suspected food baits on the ground. To play safe, it is always the best to keep your dog on its leash and use a muzzle,” the SPCA said in a Facebook post.
“If you find that your dog feels unwell after a walk, don’t take it lightly. Take your dog to the vet immediately!”
The SPCA’s inspectorate team was assisting police in following up on the incidents, according to the post.
Police urged anyone with information on the suspected poisonings to contact officers at 3660 6611 or 3660 6695, while the SPCA said residents who find anything suspicious can also call its inspectorate hotline at 2711 1100.
Cruelty to animals carries a maximum penalty of three years in jail and a fine of up to HK$200,000 in Hong Kong.