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Police Raid Vietnamese Dog Thieves, Rescue 22 Stolen Pets

On June 1, 22 dogs were discovered and promptly rescued from the home of 64-year-old Doan Van Loc in Ha Tinh Province at around 3:30am.

Police also arrested six men on-site, who were apprehended while bringing dogs to the market. In addition, four stun guns, three pepper sprays, two switchblades, two machetes, two home-made crossbows, seven cellphones, and six motorcycles were confiscated from the site, according to Thanh Nien.

The suspects form part of an operation which, under Loc’s command, have snatched thousands of dogs from households since 2017, VnExpress reports. According to the suspects’ testimonies, at around 1am, gang members rode their motorcycles with stun guns attached and began searching for dogs in Ha Tinh and Nghe An Provinces.


The set of weapons and tools used by the thieves to steal dogs. Photo via VnExpress.

In one night alone, each thief stole around seven or eight dogs. The dogs were then sold to Loc, with the price ranging from VND600,000 to VND1 million (US$26 to US$44). Ultimately, the dog would either be butchered for restaurants or resold as pets for VND5–7 million (US$218-306).

Along with the suspects, Loc and four other gang members have also been questioned. What happens next for the rescued dogs, however, remains unclear.

Around the time of the raid, police also searched the houses of Luong Sy Mai, 50, and Luong Minh Cong, 49. They found more than 100 dogs locked up in cages, ready to be sold to restaurants.

In Vietnam, dogs are more than just a pet. The country consumes five million dogs per year, making it the second-biggest market for dog meat in the world and one-fourth of China’s. Dog theft is not always treated as a crime; the stolen dogs must be worth more than VND2 million (around US$100).

As a result, snatching household dogs from owners is not a new problem. As stated by Captain Tran Dai Nghia, deputy head of Ha Tinh’s Criminal Police Department, dog thieves act with audacity and temerity, unafraid to use dog-seizing weapons against pursuing owners.

[Photo via VnExpress]

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