Taking Care of a Pet

Owning and caring for a pet can be a rewarding experience. Yet you should consider your ability to fulfil the responsibilities of a pet owner before deciding to own a pet.

Owning a Pet

There are several ways to acquire a pet. You could, for instance, buy from a licensed trader or adopt from Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) rehoming partner animal welfare organisations.

List of AFCD rehoming partner animal welfare organisations

Importing Pet

If you need to import a pet from overseas, you should apply for a special permit from the AFCD. Requirements differ according to the type of animal and the country of origin.

Import of animals & birdsApplication Form for Special Permit for the Importation/Transit/ Transhipment of Animals & Birds (pdf file)

Dog Licensing

It is a legal requirement to obtain a licence for keeping a dog aged five months or over. You may wish to apply for the licence at the time your dog is vaccinated against rabies and microchipped. This can be done at any of the licensing centres of AFCD, privately-run registered veterinary clinics or the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). A dog keeper must notify the AFCD of change in ownership or his/her address within 5 days of the change.

Dog licensing, microchip identification and vaccination against rabies

Keeping Pet in Subsidised Public Housing

If you live in one of the public housing estates, you can only keep small household pets that pose no environmental hygienic problems. Otherwise, points will be allotted under the existing Marking Scheme for Estate Management Enforcement in Public Housing Estates. On the other hand, for tenants with genuine need for keeping service dogs under special circumstances, such as keeping of guide dogs for tenants with visual and audio disabilities or keeping of dog for tenants in need of accompany of a dog for mental support as substantiated by medical practitioners, special permission would be granted on discretion by the Housing Authority.

Marking Scheme for Estate Management Enforcement in Public Housing Estates

Be a Responsible Pet Owner

A good pet owner will take into consideration the comfort of others. Make sure that your pet is not a nuisance and does not give rise to any hygienic problem to the neighbourhood. In addition, you should:

  • Groom your pet regularly
  • Make sure that you keep the cage or tank clean
  • Have your pet dogs and cats vaccinated by a registered veterinary surgeon. Seek early treatment for injuries and any illnesses.
Responsible pet ownershipList of Registered Veterinary SurgeonsClean up after your dog

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

As a pet owner you are responsible for the welfare of your pet. Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance (Cap.169), it is an offence to treat animals cruelly or to cause them unnecessary pain or suffering. If you become aware of any animal abuse case, please report to your local police station or contact Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department through 1823.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance
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Last revision date: February 2024