International Animal Rights Group Rescues 18 Dogs from Slaughterhouse

After Participating in Humane Society International’s Models for Change Program, Slaughterhouse Owner Commits to Shutting Down Dog Meat Business Responsible for Killing Dozens of Dogs Daily.


Rescuers saved eighteen dogs from a slaughterhouse in Vietnam after the owner decided to give up the business and surrender the remaining canines at the facility.

In a statement released by Humane Society International (HSI), it was announced that they have assumed responsibility for the well-being of the 18 rescued dogs. The organization shared that Mr. Hiep, a 40-year-old resident of Thai Nguyen province in Vietnam, known for its dog meat industry, has made the decision to participate in Models for Change, an initiative by HSI aimed at supporting individuals in transitioning away from the dog meat trade.

Within the framework of the program, Mr. Hiep decided to permanently close down his business which had killed “10-15 dogs every day”, for the past five years, per the release. Humane Society International (HSI) and representatives from Vietnam’s Departments of Agriculture and Animal Health were present to provide support to Mr. Hiep during this transition. Currently, he is actively pursuing a transition from the dog meat industry to engaging in agricultural services.

In a heartfelt statement, the owner of the slaughterhouse expressed his deep realization that “in my heart that killing and eating dogs is wrong” and admitted that “it was becoming harder and harder for me to do it. I am convinced that being part of this trade was bringing my family bad karma, so I am relieved to work with HSI in Vietnam to end this chapter in my life and start afresh.”


Upon HSI’s arrival to transfer Mr. Hiep’s 18 dogs to a dedicated animal rescue, their officials made a distressing discovery—several of the puppies were confined in cages, specifically intended for overfeeding to increase their weight for slaughter. Following HSI’s intervention and subsequent removal of the dogs from these enclosures, the canines received essential vaccinations against rabies and distemper, ensuring their health and well-being.

Following the rescue, HSI safely transported the dogs to temporary shelters and rehabilitation centers located at the Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry, where they receive comprehensive medical attention and nurturing care. Once the canines have regained their health and found comfort, they will be made available for adoption, both within the local community and internationally.


HSI’s Models for Change program has expanded to Vietnam, building upon its success in South Korea. The program was initiated in South Korea in 2015, leading to the closure of 17 dog meat farms and the rescue of 2,500 dogs over the years. Now, HSI aims to replicate this accomplishment in Vietnam through the Models for Change program.

The program provides support to slaughterhouse owners who opt to join, facilitating their transition into alternative ventures or industries.

Phuong Tham, the country director of Humane Society International (HSI) in Vietnam, expressed in a statement “We are very proud to bring our Models for Change program to Vietnam. The dog meat trade is not only unbelievably cruel but also poses a very grave risk to human health from the transmission of potentially lethal diseases like rabies.”

“Mr. Hiep is the first of what we hope will be many more people to leave this dangerous trade behind them, helping the government achieve its goal of eliminating human rabies deaths from dog interactions by 2030,” he added.


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