8,000-US-dollar reward offered to catch Hong Kong dog killer

Other News Materials 20 March 2008 06:32 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- A reward of almost 8,000 US dollars has been offered to catch a poisoner who has killed dozens of pet dogs in Hong Kong, a news report said Thursday.

The reward is being offered by an anonymous animal lover in an effort to catch the notorious dog poisoner, who has been laying poisoned meat to kill pets for 19 years, killings dozens of animals.

The new 60,000-Hong-Kong-dollar (7,717-US-dollar) reward puts the total reward money to anyone who catches the culprit at more than 20,000 US dollars when added to earlier rewards.

The latest bounty was being offered by an expatriate animal lover distressed by the trail of misery the dog poisoner has left in the city of 6.9 million, the South China Morning Post reported.

Seventy-two dogs were poisoned last year alone, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals believes that, combined with unreported cases, more than 100 dogs have died.

The culprit is believed to be an elderly Chinese man with a grudge against pet dogs. He strikes almost exclusively in the wealthy Mid Levels and Happy Valley area.

His most famous victim was the dog of Hong Kong's last colonial governor, Chris Patten. The Norfolk terrier called Whisky survived after swallowing poisoned lumps of chicken in 1997.

A bald, round-faced Chinese man was once spotted dropping meat by the owner of a dog that collapsed with poisoning symptoms minutes later after eating some of the food.

However, police and animal welfare groups have never tracked down the culprit despite setting up special patrols and offering rewards of thousands of US dollars for his capture.

Criminal psychologists who have examined the cases believe the killer may have an obsessive dislike of dogs who foul footpaths and may have begun his campaign as a means of revenge.