The recession isn't just affecting people in Hong: it's also having an impact on animals as dogs are left behind by departing expatriates.
Jenny Wong, manager of ReloPet, said her company had seen a 400 per cent increase in business in the past 12 months as more expatriates are laid off and said many dogs were being left behind.

"We have seen a massive increase in people and pets moving out of Hong Kong because of this financial tsunami," she said.

Wong said the number of people of leaving had risen sharply since October. "In December alone we had 40 new jobs. A year before, we were getting less than 10 bookings a month.

"They are being uprooted the next day and with pets, it's really difficult especially when they're going to Australia or the UK. Some countries need (6) six months advance preparation."

Taking a large dog back to a country like Australia and paying for its boarding fees while the process was ongoing could cost up to 4,500 USD she said.

"It's a lot of money, especially for a family that no longer has an income coming in and doesn't know if it will have any income when it gets back home," she said.

Stacy Tucker, who runs Hong Kong's Ferndale Kennels and Cattery, said she had seen a steady increase in people seeking to take their pets out of Hong Kong with them because of the credit crunch.
"It's people who haven't considered they will be leaving who are getting caught out and there are quite a lot of them, especially in the banking sector."

Sally Andersen who runs Hong Kong Dog Rescue said her shelter was "totally inundated" with people seeking homes for unwanted pets. "I'm getting so many calls now it's difficult. I get about 10 calls a day," she said. "We are already well over our limit.

While people in Hong Kong were generally becoming more responsible about looking after pets, she said, the big increase in overall dog ownership meant more dogs were being abandoned.