Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 17620724
Project Title(English) : Responding to Animal Rescue Hoarding in Hong Kong: A Comparative and Empirical Review  
Project Title(Chinese) :  
Principal Investigator(English) : Ms Whitfort, Amanda Sarah 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) :  
Department : Department of Professional Legal Education
Institution : The University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Dr Fiona , Woodhouse
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Social and Behavioural Sciences
Exercise Year : 2024 / 25
Fund Approved : 407,644
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date :
Abstract as per original application
This study will assess the serious and widespread problem of animal rescue hoarding in Hong Kong. It will investigate the root causes of the problem through interviews with shelter operators, animal rescuers and hoarders. Utilising empirical data collected in Hong Kong, the research team will explore with stakeholders the possibility of regulatory solutions to address rescue hoarding in the territory. Within Hong Kong, abandonment of pets has supported a large population of free-living animals. Data collected by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (HK) supports a link between government policy, animal abandonment and rescue hoarding with a significant number of rescue hoarders and private shelters sourcing animals from the street and persons who repeatedly rescue animals to home in shelters. Between 2013 and 2019, over 500 animals had to be rescued by police from rescue hoarders and shelters. Many of these animals required euthanasia as a result of the poor welfare which had been inflicted upon them by hoarders and within shelters. In recent years, several rescue shelters have been prosecuted for large scale animal cruelty. The research team will interview stakeholders to identify the motivations for their actions and how they perceive the current problems in protection for abandoned animals can be resolved. During the review process, input will be sought from stakeholders running local shelters and animal protection NGO’s as to the suitability of possible regulations for shelter operations. Drawing on the small number of regulatory interventions which have been adopted internationally we will investigate the extent these could be moulded to fit the unique animal movement of Hong Kong. Recommendations for adapting policy to meet current social norms in Hong Kong will be made to government departments charged with protecting animal welfare in a public report at the conclusion of the investigation.
Research Outcome
Layman's Summary of
Completion Report:
Not yet submitted