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All You Need to Know When Adopting a Dog in Hong Kong

All You Need to Know When Adopting a Dog in Hong Kong

Want to adopt a dog in Hong Kong? It can be a wonderfully rewarding experience and we’re honored to guide you in this process!

We’ll guide you through everything you need to know from knowing the requirements to finding the right shelter – all that and more! 

How does one adopt a dog in Hong Kong? 

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of steps6
Time needed2 – 4 weeks
Things you needAddress proof, Hong Kong ID

Step 1. Find a dog shelter of your choice 

The first step in adopting a dog in Hong Kong is, of course, finding a dog shelter of your choice. 

There are different factors that would typically affect one’s choice. Here are usually the things that people consider:

  • The dog shelter’s mission – Some people who look for dogs to adopt consider the shelter’s mission. Do they aim to rescue dogs from the street and provide them care and shelter until they’re ready for adoption? Think about the charitable work they do and see if it resonates with you. 
  • Are they no-kill shelters or kill shelters? – Kill shelters euthanize animals that are unadoptable or unadopted. Do note however, that they don’t do this out of the blue. They usually perform euthanasia once they don’t have enough room anymore. The opposite of kill shelters are no-kill shelters which only euthanize pets who are terminally ill. 

Step 2. Look at the dogs they have for adoption

As we mentioned, it’s important that the dog shelter of your choice has a dog that you’re interested in taking home with you. 

Some shelters post the dogs up for adoption online. Meanwhile, you can also head to the shelter to see the dogs they have available in person. 

We highly recommend doing the latter so you have an idea if you’re compatible with the dog. 

Step 3. Fill up the application form 

After deciding which dog to adopt, you have to fill up the application that the shelter will provide you. Each shelter’s application will look a bit different.

Step 4. Wait for the assessment 

The shelter will typically assess you based on your housing, the number of people in the house with you, your past experiences in taking care of animals, and more. Sometimes a person from the shelter will even go to your home to see if it’s a suitable place for an animal. 

Don’t worry, this is a good thing. This means that the shelter really cares about the welfare of the animals! It’s a vital step that protects all the animals up for adoption. 

Step 5. Give the shelter the requirements

Some shelters ask for other requirements after the assessment. It usually depends on what they need from the applicant, but most of the time, they’re just additional adoption-related documents like proof of income and permission letter from the landlord. 

Step 6. Wait for the feedback 

Dog shelters usually get back to you within a week or so. However, it depends on the shelter. They should inform you beforehand how long it will take for them to get back to you. 

Most of the time, they only contact those who are successful with their application. Anyway, we find it important to ask the dog shelter about these since they all have different processes. 

What could be the reason for possible rejection of dog adoption in Hong Kong? 

The most common reason your dog adoption application in Hong Kong is rejected is because your lifestyle isn’t suited to taking a dog into the picture. 

It could be because you travel a lot for work or you spend most of your time in the office. Moreover, it’s also possible that your home doesn’t have a lot of space for your dog, e.g. your apartment is on a smaller scale and yet you want to adopt a dog that’s as big as a Golden Retriever. 

Overall, having your application rejected doesn’t mean they think you’ll be a bad pet owner. It’s usually the environment that you live in. 

With that in mind, don’t be disheartened. You can always try again! 

Where can I adopt a dog in Hong Kong?  

There are plenty of shelters where you can adopt a dog from in Hong Kong. We gathered 4 different ones you can choose from. 

1. PAWS Guardian Rescue Center


Address: HG/F, 131 Yee Kuk Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon

Contact details: +852 6999 4221

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 12 PM to 6 PM

If you’re planning on adopting a dog, the PAWS Guardian Rescue Center is a great option. They mostly select old and injured animals, so they can live a new comfortable life. 

Another thing we love about PAWS is how they provide a lot of channels for people to help their rescues. 

Aside from adopting, there are plenty of ways to help the animals in this rescue center. If you want to help animals but can’t adopt one right now, for example, you can participate in their animal sponsorship program. 

Your donation can help the cats or dogs of your choice. You can even visit the shelter to interact with the animal you’re supporting and even take them for a walk!

You can also try out their foster care program if you want to experience how it is to take care of a pet while you’re still not fully confident in your ability to give them a forever home. 

Additionally, you can even apply for their volunteering program. 

2. Sai Kung Stray Friends Foundation 


Address: 151 Tai Lam Wu Rd, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

Contact details: +852 9199 2340

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:30 AM  to 4:30 PM

Sai Kung Stray Friends Foundation gives abandoned and homeless dogs a chance to find a forever home. 

As of writing, they have more than 100 dogs at their shelter you can choose from. Needless to say, it’s easy to find a good match for you. 

Doing so would also support this organization that provides food and water for stray dogs every single day. 

Because of their charitable efforts, they’re quite well-known in the local community. 

Anyway, you can easily view some of the dogs that are currently up for adoption on their website. Note that these are not all the available dogs, so if you weren’t able to find one, you can always visit their kennel! 

3. Lifelong Animal Protection Charity 


Address: Allway Gardens Block E, Allway Gardens Block E 187, 187號 Tsuen King Circuit, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

Contact details: +852 6477 1492

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 7 PM

Like most dog shelters, Lifelong Animal Protection Charity gets a lot of its resources from generous donors. They’re a small team, but they’ve managed to create a big impact on a lot of the animals’ lives. 

Aside from going to the shelters to see the animals up for adoption, you can also attend their adoption events like a lot of people have done in the past. They usually announce this on their website or on their social media pages. 

Anyway, if you’re interested in adopting a dog from them, all you need to do is fill up the form on their website

4.  Rescued Centre for Abandoned Pets (RCAP)


Address: Hong Kong, Sheung Pak Nai, 流浮山 31號

Contact details: +852 2383 5553

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

The Rescued Centre for Abandoned Pets helps a lot of homeless animals rehabilitate and find a new home. 

They’ve been around for a long time. If their charitable organization speaks to you, this might be the place where you can find a dog to take home. 

The animals you can adopt from RCAP are available on their website. Some information is provided like the name, sex, and age. 

However, since they have more than 300 animals in their shelter, this isn’t the complete list. We suggest going to their address to see all the dogs. 

What are the qualifications to adopt a dog in Hong Kong? 

If you’re planning on adopting a dog in Hong Kong, make sure you meet the following qualifications:

1. You should be over the age of 20 

Adopting a dog is a lot of responsibility. You’re not taking care of a toy, but of a live, breathing animal that needs attention and love. 

This is why dog shelters require you to be 21 years old and above. You need a level of independence, self-sufficiency, and maturity for this. 

However, if you don’t meet the age range, but have someone at the same address who does, they can adopt on your behalf. 

2. You should be able to provide proof of your residential address

The dog shelter needs the document proof of your residential address for documentation purposes. Though, a lot of times, they also do home inspections to make sure your residence is a suitable environment for the dog you’re planning to adopt. 

3. The shelter must deem you suitable in caring for a dog

Shelters have different ways to determine if you’re suitable in caring for a dog. As we mentioned previously, it’s usually based on the environment at your home. 

Is Hong Kong dog-friendly? 

Yes, Hong Kong is quite dog-friendly. We say this because there are a lot of cafes and restaurants that welcome furry pets. 

There are also plenty of pet parks where your dog can freely roam around without a leash. 

While there are several apartments with a no-pet policy, there are still a lot of options that have no qualms with it. You can find most of these apartments at Ap Chau, Sai Kung, and Happy Valley. 

What are other ways to help if I think I’m not ready to adopt a dog yet in Hong Kong? 

There are plenty of ways to help without adopting a dog in Hong Kong like sponsoring a dog, donating to the shelter, and volunteering. 

A lot of shelters provide opportunities to help so make sure to check out the ones we mentioned in this article. 

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