Dozens Of Dogs Saved From Dog Meat Slaughterhouse In Vietnam After Owner Had A Change Of Heart & Wanted To Stop The Cruel Trade

Forty four dogs, including 19 puppies that are just days old, have been rescued from a dog meat fattening facility and slaughterhouse in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam, after the owner had a change of heart and shut his shop down for good.

Mr. Hung had bought, sold, and slaughtered up to 20,000 dogs for the meat trade over the past seven years, but said that killing the animals weighed heavily on his conscience and he was relieved when animal charity Humane Society International (HSI) offered him a way out as part of its Models for Change program. Mr. Hung plans to open an agricultural store for local community crop farming.


HSI’s rescue team assembled from Vietnam, Indonesia, and India to remove the 44 dogs from Mr. Hung’s facility and transport them to custom-made sheltering at Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry where they were vaccinated against rabies and will receive medical care and rehabilitation before being made available for adoption. 

Most of the estimated five million dogs killed for meat annually in Vietnam are stolen pets or strays snatched from the streets using poison bait, painful taser guns, pincers or ropes, or imported from surrounding countries like Cambodia. However, the majority of Mr. Hung’s dogs were sold to him by rural families who breed extra puppies to supplement their income.


Traders typically travel village to village by motorbike or truck to collect puppies from rural communities. The young dogs are tightly packed into small cages and driven for hours to facilities such as Mr. Hung’s for fattening up, many enduring dehydration, suffocation, heatstroke, and even death on the journey.   

Prior to the dog meat farm’s closure, traders delivered around 50 puppies every one or two months to Mr. Hung’s facility, where they were kept in filthy raised cages without veterinary care. The dogs were fattened up for several weeks or months to reach a suitable slaughter weight to be sold as dog meat.


“I looked into their pleading eyes and saw their tails nervously wagging as I approached, and each time it got harder to do. They came to me as happy little puppies so full of life, but soon became traumatized and afraid,” Mr. Hung told HSI’s Vietnam team. “It just broke my heart in the end. Dogs are so loyal and friendly, selling or killing them felt like a betrayal that weighed heavily on my conscience.”

“When I heard that HSI’s Models for Change program had helped another trader in Thai Nguyen close his dog meat slaughterhouse and restaurant last year, I was relieved to know there was a way for me to start my life over without having to kill animals for a living. I’m excited for my new business and to know that all my dogs will have the happy life they deserve with families who will look after them,” said Mr. Hung.

“The dog meat trade is a cruel and dangerous business in Vietnam, jeopardizing the health of the nation for profit, in breach of existing laws. Mr. Hung is the second trader in Vietnam to participate in our Models for Change program, which we hope will encourage the authorities to commit to a strategy to provide industry workers with alternative and economically viable livelihoods, while also supporting government efforts to eliminate rabies,” said Phuong Tham, HSI’s Vietnam country director.

“While dog meat remains prevalent in some parts of the country, there is also increasing opposition to the practice among the rising pet loving population in Vietnam who are frustrated by the lack of action taken against unscrupulous dog thieves and traders who steal people’s beloved companions,” continued Tham. “As the role dogs play in society changes, so too must legislation to protect them from cruelty and exploitation.”


HSI’s Models for Change program began in Vietnam last year after successfully operating in South Korea since 2015. The charity has closed down 18 dog meat farms and helped build public and political support for a nationwide ban on dog meat. HSI brought its program to Vietnam last year with the closure of a dog slaughterhouse and restaurant owned by a neighbor of Mr. Hung.

Please support HSI’s Models for Change program so they can continue to close down more dog meat farms by donating HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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