51 rescued dogs find shelter after central Vietnam bust

By Hai Minh   September 22, 2019 | 11:45 pm PT
51 rescued dogs find shelter after central Vietnam bust
A dog rescued in a dog thief bust in Thanh Hoa Province on September 16, 2019 is returned to its owner. Photo courtesy of the Asia Canine Protection Alliance.
The Asia Canine Protection Alliance has taken in 51 dogs rescued after a gang of thieves were busted in Thanh Hoa last week.

Over 30 of these have since been returned to their owners.

Thirteen of the 51 dogs were injured in tasing (electrically stun) and restraining, and have been treated medically by staff of the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA). The ACPA has said it covers all treatment costs, including medicines, as well as cages for the dogs.

The remaining dogs will be temporarily taken care of by the Thanh Hoa Police. Dogs not returned to their owners will be sent to a dog rescue center, where they would be taken care of while awaiting adoption, ACPA staff said.

Ten people were detained September 16 in the central province of Thanh Hoa after police busted a gang of dog thieves.

Le Thi Phuong, 34, Tran Van Thang, 33, and Lai Khac Hung, 38, were identified as the leaders of the gang that carried out dozens of thefts every night.

According to the police, the gang, carrying stun guns and other sharp weapons, rode motorbikes through residential areas at midnight and shot dogs roaming free on the street.

Dog theft is rarely treated as a criminal offense in Vietnam unless the canines are valued at more than VND2 million ($86).

Vietnam consumes an estimated five million dogs a year, second only to China's 20 million.

Several reports have said that many dogs served in dog meat restaurants are stolen pets sold to small, unregulated abattoirs.

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