The mongrel, about one year old, was rescued yesterday morning from a water catchment area at Shing Mun Reservoir in Tsuen Wan during a heavy downpour.
Members of the Fire Services Department, who were called by passersby, hauled out the animal, which was found to be exhausted, frightened and shivering.
When two officers wrapped the dog in a blanket a woman - fearing it would be handed over to the SPCA or the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department - shouted: "Please let it go or it will be put down."
But the dog was taken to the SPCA clinic in Kowloon, where it was given a checkup and put to sleep.
Hong Kong Cat Refuge volunteer Jane Wong Suet-ching accused the SPCA and the agriculture department of euthanizing stray animals without justification.
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