They’re a tiny dent on a big number but the first Hong Kong-born seeing-eye dogs could quickly fill the need for 1,700 of them if bred successfully.
But first, there’s the small matter of naming them.
For HK$50,000 (US$6,450) any one can have naming rights to each of the four newly born labrador female pups but their names must start with “H”, to indicate their birthplace, Metro Daily reported Wednesday.
The litter was born on March 21 to Yoyo and Billy who were imported from Taiwan last year.
Hong Kong has about 170,000 visually impaired people and needs 1,700 guide dogs in line with world standards, the report said, citing Raymond Cheung of Hong Kong Seeing Eye Dog Services.
Only 30 are in service at present, all imported. It takes time to help them adapt to the Hong Kong climate and environment, Cheung said.
He said domestic breeds are key to the long-term development of the service.
Each guide dog requires two years of training and cost as much as HK$200,000, all in.
Hong Kong’s guide dog service industry is at a very early stage of development and government support is essential, he said.
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