Many of our efforts in the fight against the dog and cat meat trade take months and years of preparation - but sometimes things happen at lightning speed. While the police usually looks the other way when dogs are being snatched of the streets or from loving families, things took a dramatic change. The Department of Agriculture in Siem Reap stood up and acted upon the official banning of dog meat that was passed in July in Siem Reap last year: They stopped a minivan carrying 61 live dogs, arrested the trafficker and called us for help with treating the animals.
Untangling the bodies
The Cambodian authorities asked us for our help to take care of the rescued animals – and help was urgently needed: Dogs were piled up like luggage over one another in tiny cages. It was hard to tell which foot belonged to which animal, as they were all intertwined in what seemed to be one desperate ball of animals. As a first step, we freed them from the cages, carefully executing every step as to not hurt or scare them anymore than they had already been. It was apparent that they were completely dehydrated and hadn't eaten in days, so we started with providing food and water right away, along with our friends from Paw Patrol Cambodia. One dog, Julie, was in critical condition and not able to stand up but at least she was able to lick food from a plate while lying down.
Julie kept us worried in the days to come as she was barely hanging on for life when she was rescued. Her front legs had such severe tremors that she couldn't stand up. Our friends from Animal Rescue Cambodia took over the treatment: she was given yummy wet food which she happily lapped up, and was started on antibiotic therapy in the case of severe tick-borne disease or meningitis. After the initial treatment, she was much stronger and ready to be transported to the capitol Phnom Penh together with five other dogs that needed medical care.
It gives us hope that the Cambodian authorities are standing up to their legislation and against the dog meat trade. There is still a long way to go until this horrible industry is banned from Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries but things like this give us hope that our quest will come to an end one day with your help.
Our hard work doesn't end here as we continue in the momentous mission of healing and finding loving homes for all the souls rescued this day. Stay tuned for further updates soon!