HONG KONG, May 25 (Xinhua) -- It's not a usual Saturday scene at a Hong Kong shopping mall: in the middle of many curious children sitting a lop rabbit, an African spurred tortoise, a corn snake and other pets in their glass cages.
"It's the fifth year for us to hold the Pet Adoption Day, through which we hope we can raise the awareness of pet adoption and cultivate love for animals," said James Wong, contractor of the two-day event, "Pets with Love" Pet Adoption Day.
The event was organized by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and co-organized by five animal protection organizations.
On the event site, there is an interactive information kiosk with both English and Chinese. A bunch of people were busy swiping the screen and viewing care tips for cat, rabbit, turtles and other pets as well as vaccination, licensing, adoption and related information.
Together with education exhibition, game booths, photo corner and a series of workshops, the event attracted many people.
Accompanied by parents, 7-year-old Suki Yuen came to the event, hoping to find a pet rabbit.
"I'm afraid of being bitten by dogs. So I want to find a rabbit with long hair," Yuki whispered to Cathay, a staff from the Hong Kong Rabbit Society, an organization which provides services including receiving abandoned rabbits, adoption and medical care.
Cathay told Yuki that adoption is not the same as having a toy but giving a home to animals.
"As a new adopter of pet rabbit, you'd better choose a short-haired rabbit. After filling application forms, candidates are required to come to our center to do at least twice cage cleaning work," Cathay explained to Yuki and her parents. "Then you should attend a training course and pass a simple test before bringing rabbit home.
Due to lack of outdoor space and cramped living space, some pet lovers may give up their ideas to keep a pet. "Under this condition, you can join our Animals Sponsorship Scheme. Donors can donate 99 Hong Kong dollars (13 U.S. dollars) to our society. We'll take care of abandoned animals," Carrie Chan, a member of the Society for Abandoned Animals Limited (SAA), told a young couple who couldn't afford a pet dog.
Under this scheme, donors could name any animal in SAA's shelter for sponsorship and updated pictures of the sponsored animal would be sent to donors every four months. Also, donors will be invited to join the animal's birthday party in its birthday month.
Generally as a pet-loving city, Hong Kong still needs to step up efforts against pets abandonments, Wong said. "Many people keep pets because baby animals are cute, but when they grow bigger, their owners abandon these poor pets."
"Bringing a pet home is a big decision. No matter why the animals are abandoned, disabled, aged or in illness, we have the duty to find home for them and take care of them for life," Wong said.
"After all, a pet is for life."