Sixty-one dogs that were on their way to die at a slaughterhouse were intercepted and rescued in the Cambodian province of Siem Reap.
The poor animals were stuffed into six small cages and were being transported by a minivan. Thankfully, the vehicle was stopped before it left Siem Reap by the Provincial Department of Agriculture.
This is the first government-led stop of canines in Cambodia after Siem Reap announced a ban on dog meat in July 2020.
The dogs — which included strays and stolen pets — were removed from the van and were taken to a holding area so that they could move around in freedom. Animal rescue groups, Animal Rescue Cambodia, FOUR PAWS, and Paw Patrol Cambodia are working together to take care of the newly-rescued animals by providing medical care and food. A team of veterinarians is also vaccinating all 61 dogs.
Most of the dogs are young. They showed signs of severe heat exhaustion and dehydration and were very hungry … Probably unfed for days. Once the dogs are fully cared for, the groups will work hard to find them all new homes.
This government-led stop is significant because it sends a clear message that things are changing and that future dog meat trading won’t be tolerated as it has been. Although a ban on the sale and consumption of dog meat was passed in 2020, the province has remained a hot spot in the country’s dog meat trade.
FOUR PAWS led an investigation and found that thousands of dogs are still being taken from Siem Reap to slaughterhouses around the country each month. In order for lasting change to happen, the authorities will need to get involved so that everyone takes it seriously.
At Karmagawa and SaveTheReef we’re celebrating this story. Some of these dogs have probably never experienced love or kindness before. They deserve a chance at life and to have a loving home where they can feel safe.
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(Cover image: Celiafoto/Shutterstock)