Closing a House of Horror for Dogs in Cambodia
Together, we have saved millions of dogs from slaughter
During our campaign to stop the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia, our team has witnessed so many unimaginably heartbreaking scenes of animal suffering and cruelty; but this dog slaughterhouse is potentially the worst. An estimated 1 million dogs have lost their lives at this facility since it opened in 1995.
Whining dogs penned up in rusty cages, the pungent odor of urine and feces baking in the heat. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, the sight of two cement tanks three feet high filled with putrid, black water makes your stomach churn. Hundreds of dogs are drowned daily in these pits, their fur later removed with a blowtorch. Many of them puppies still wearing collars, signs of their prior lives as beloved family members.
We have to stop this. And we are trying to. Can we count on your support today to close down this slaughterhouse for good?
BREAKING UPDATE! We did it! The suffering has finally come to an end at this slaughterhouse. See what happened.
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Rescued slaughterhouse dogs travel to find their forever home in the United States
Earlier this year, FOUR PAWS had two major successes in combatting the dog meat trade in Cambodia: First the interception of 61 dogs destined for slaughter followed only weeks later by a major slaughterhouse closure. This left us caring for many dogs requiring intensive care and ultimately forever homes. While we always pursue local adoptions as a first option, we are committed no matter what to finding these dogs loving homes. We had arranged for some to be transferred to the U.S., where adoptive homes were waiting for them. However, COVID has raged in Cambodia during the last months, leading to a complete military lockdown of the capital city of Phnom Penh. The operation was therefore made even trickier than it usually would be. Luckily, the stars aligned and we were able to get the dogs moving again and successfully complete our largest shipment ever of survivors of the dog meat trade. A total of 20 dogs made the trip to sunny California. Dr. Katherine Polak, who already coordinated the rescues in Cambodia, was on the ground in Los Angeles to receive and transport the dogs to our local rescue partner, The Barking Lot, www.thebarkinglot.net. Since their arrival, all of the dogs have gotten the love, attention, and care they need to recover from their prior traumas.
Now comes the best news: America has fallen in love with these dogs! Many of them have already found their new homes.
Rescued slaughterhouse dogs recovering
While closing down a dog slaughterhouse in Cambodia is a massive endeavor, the work really begins once the place is shut down, as we have to take care of the rescued animals. As you might remember, some of the animals saved from the last place were in a very serious condition. Suzie (in the photo) and Lark kept us especially worried, as they were infected with the potentially lethal parvovirus. Now we hope you are ready for some great news: Both have fully recovered and were already discharged!
They both were treated at Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society who specialize in treating parvovirus. And they did a great job in bringing out the kind and trusting souls of these two dogs. This was especially true for Lark, who needed a lot of extra TLC; she was so traumatized from almost being killed at the slaughterhouse that she had a hard time being in a cage again. However, every day that passed she understood more and more that we were all there to help her - and once she relaxed, she made a full recovery, knowing that she is finally safe now.
Unfortunately, many more dogs are being killed out there in Southeast Asia. Please sign our petition against the dog and cat meat trade.
Introducing our brave Maverick
We don't know much about her, but we know for sure she went through hell. Caught by thieves, thrown into a cage, and next in line to be drowned at the slaughterhouse in Skun, little Maverick was terrified. Trembling in the cage when we found her, she was one of the lucky 16 dogs we were able to rescue from a terrible fate. Saved from imminent death at the slaughterhouse, her fight is not over yet.
Unfortunately, Maverick was one of the sickest dogs rescued, barely hanging on for life. She tested positive for distemper, a highly contagious, serious disease in dogs caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. Maverick is under intensive care at a nearby veterinary hospital receiving IV fluids, antibiotics, and pain medicine to help her recover. We check in with her daily and know that she is getting the very best care possible. Despite her illness, she is being a perfect patient, greeting the doctors with a wagging tail and enjoying the special meals. Day by day she is getting stronger, but she still has a long way to go. We are hopeful, though, that with enough love and proper medical care, that she will make a full recovery and live a proper dog life, as she deserves.
Help us to continue our mission to end the dog and cat meat trade to #ProtectMillions.
Dog slaughterhouse CLOSED
While we know that these missions are extremely demanding, nothing can fully prepare you for the rollercoaster ride that yesterday brought. After we arrived on site, we started with calming down the 16 dogs that were locked in rusty cages within the Cambodian slaughterhouse. While they were shy at the beginning, they quickly warmed up to us, with some of them showing incredible gratitude and joy from the unexpected affection. Even more than the food and water, the dogs responded most to the love we gave them. We started moving the dogs from their filthy cages into clean and comfortable transport boxes. Everything seemed to be going well - until we came across more and more dogs that were in very bad condition: lethargic, dehydrated, and with a fever, we knew that they needed to be transported back to a clinic in Phnom Penh right away. There our friends from Animal Rescue Cambodia took over and quickly had to deliver more bad news: some of the dogs tested positive for parvovirus, a potentially fatal disease. The dogs immediately were prepared for emergency treatment to increase their chances for survival.
Slaughterhouse shutdown happening now!
After a short night with little sleep, the day has finally come on; we are closing down a Cambodian dog slaughterhouse in which one million dogs have been killed since its opening. Even though everything was going according to plan, there is always that nagging feeling the night before the operation: will everything work out? Are the dogs going to be alright when we get there?
On top of all the usual hassles that come with such a mission, the city of Phnom Penh is currently facing a serious COVID-19 outbreak and concern about a potential lockdown is currently looming over the country, which would make team travel to rescue the dogs almost impossible. But rest assured: nothing will stop us now from locking this place down and getting the dogs out of there.
Please keep supporting our efforts to #ProtectMillions!
Breaking! Cambodian slaughterhouse to shutdown tomorrow
What we have been fighting for over a year is about to become reality. After the 61 dogs that were rescued in Siem Reap on their way to slaughterhouses last week, tomorrow will bring another massive victory in our fight against the dog meat trade. When we arrived at the premises this week, our team was able to identify sixteen dogs inside the eerie darkness. The feeling of walking through a place in which one million dogs have been killed since 1995 is something that cannot be put into words.
But there is hope: the animals we found are alive, even though they are in truly bad shape. Lying on top of each other, cowering in fear in four rusty metal cages, severely dehydrated and most of all terrified, they had given up on fighting back. Most of them are less than six months old - and without this mission, their lives would end now. Suddenly, we heard barking from the back of the facility, coming from a sweet brindle puppy that seemed to be even younger than the others. When he spotted us, he tried everything to get our attention and greeted us with overwhelming friendliness. Any hand that came close to him was immediately licked and his paws didn't want to let go of our helping hands. All of our exhaustion and anxiety was gone in a heartbeat as we looked him in the eye. We named him Albus and promised him that tomorrow will be the day he will be freed.
With this closure, we are continuing our mission to #ProtectMillions. Please support us!
We are currently doing everything in our power to close this place down and to literally #ProtectMillions. Come back here or visit our social media pages for regular updates.
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The barbaric dog meat trade in Cambodia
Every year, 3 million dogs are killed for their meat in Cambodia. In most cases, the dogs are stolen from their homes and trafficked across the country to be killed in the most brutal ways at slaughterhouses like this one. Read our summary report on dog meat consumption in Cambodia here!