Pet Shop Rents Dogs as Recession Bites

Article

HONG KONG (Reuters) - In another sign Hong Kong's economy may be going to the dogs, a local pet shop is renting out pooches by the week in a bid to bring in more business.

Shop owner Danny Tam said his strategy of "rent first, buy later" could also cut down on the growing number of dogs being abandoned in the territory because their owners have grown tired of them.

"This allows consumers to decide if they really want to keep pets and it also helps generate business," Tam told Reuters in a telephone interview on Wednesday, shouting over the noise of yelping dogs in the background.

Tam said his business has grown five fold since he launched the new marketing strategy in early summer and fewer than 10 percent of his dogs have been returned.

Rental charges vary from HK$700 to HK$1,400 (US$90-180) a week, depending on the breed of the dog. But customers have to pay a deposit equal to the full value of the animal

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