In January 2020, we became aware of two dogs, which were on their way to a slaughterhouse. A dog thief was driving through the city of Da Nang with the two dogs tightly crammed into a small cage welded onto the back of his motorbike. Throughout Vietnam, it is common to see thieves driving around on a motorbike trying to either buy or steal dogs and cats. It isn’t known exactly where Cola and Rum came from, but we suspect that due to Cola’s severe skin condition, his owner probably sold him to the trader because of his ‘ugly’ appearance.
Luckily for these two, a brave local activist came to their rescue, stopping the motorbike, and calling local authorities. After much negotiation, the activist was able to save the two dogs, and bring them to our outreach staff at the rescue centre, funded by FOUR PAWS. Together with PAWS for Compassion, FOUR PAWS operates an exciting Stray Animal Care program in Central Vietnam which offers free sterilisation and rescue services for animals at risk from the dog and cat meat trade.
Recovering from their trauma
When rescued, Cola was suffering from severe mange, his body was covered in painful red sores. He was extremely itchy and uncomfortable. He also had infected, oozing wounds as a result of his untreated skin infection, and severely swollen legs. Rum on the other hand was a relatively healthy pup however she was quite emotionally traumatised and shut down.
Rum required immediate care including IV antibiotics, diagnostic testing, medicated bathing (benzoyl peroxide), and anti-mite medication (ivermectin). He was so terribly itchy that he was causing his wounds to become increasingly infected from chewing and scratching. He was fitted with an E collar (cone) to allow his wounds to heal. Rum needed quiet time initially, and was then slowly socialised to learn to trust humans again.
Rum is still receiving medical care at the rescue center. Both dogs will be placed up for adoption to find their forever homes.