Police are probing the death of four dogs suspected to have been poisoned inside a renowned Taoist temple in Ta Kwu Ling near Fan Ling.
Workers at Wun Chuen Sin Koon reported to the police after they found the dogs under their care spurting white foam.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals took the dogs for examination to determine the cause of death.
Police officers searched the temple for evidence and checked the CCTV footage. So far no arrest has been made.
A staffer told police that he found the dogs dead in different locations of the temple early yesterday. One was found near the front door while the others were found near the canteen and one of the halls.
There are five mongrels in the temple. The four that were found dead include Yung, Guang, Faye and a black mongrel.
The first three, aged two to three, were siblings given to the temple by worshippers. One mongrel was found alive and is now in stable condition.
It is still unknown whether someone had placed poisonous bait around the temple.
The dogs' bodies were kept by the SPCA and will be sent to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for further examination.
A similar case happened in February when at least six dogs died from consuming poisonous bait after visiting the Cyberport Waterfront Park.
Lawmaker Gary Chan Hak-kan, who condemned the incident on social media, urged police to stringently follow up the case. He also requested the police to strengthen patrolling.
He suggested setting up an animal police squad to improve efficiency when dealing with cases related to animal cruelty and to send a clear message to the community that animal cruelty will not be tolerated.
Cruelty to animals carries a maximum penalty of three years' imprisonment and a HK$200,000 fine.