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Dogs doomed to death in Southeast Asian meat trade saved in Truckee

Staff report
Mable, seen here in Thailand on her last day there before her trip to America, would likely have been among thousands of dogs that are killed annually as part of the illegal dog-meat trade in Southeast Asia.
Courtesy HSTT |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe recently took in three dogs rescued in Thailand that likely would have been killed as part of the illegal dog-meat trade in Southeast Asia.

Soi Dog, a Thai rescue organization, saved the animals, then worked with HSTT to shelter the trio and find them homes, according to a press release. The dogs arrived in Truckee Jan. 18. 

This is the first time HSTT has taken in animals from an international shelter, according to the nonprofit, and is only one of two American shelters with which Soi Dog has worked.

“It’s really exciting that we could help them,” Emily Watt, animal programs manager at HSTT, said in a statement. “They had families and people before (possibly) meeting this awful fate. To help in this capacity ­to provide a new home for them and love them, that’s really incredible.”

According to various media reports, the dog-meat trade is an inhumane and cruel act in Southeast Asia that involves dogs being smuggled from Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, then stuffed into wire cages and trucked illegally to Vietnam.

Once there, the animals are killed — often skinned alive, strung up and beaten, if they don’t die en route — and sold to Vietnamese restaurants, where diners consider their meat a delicacy.

According to a special report from CNN in the summer of 2013, which includes graphic images and videos of murdered animals, a single dog can be sold on average for $60, and it’s estimated the trade involves hundreds of thousands of dogs per year.

Soi Dog works with a handful of other countries to protect abused and neglected animals. Watt began working with the group in mid-December 2014, according to HSTT, after one of her volunteers discovered the dogs through a network of shelters.

The three dogs — medium sized, mix breeds between the ages and two and three named Flame, Mable and Gypsy — were flown from Bangkok to San Francisco with flight volunteers arranged by Soi Dog.

“They’re really happy, friendly, social dogs,” Watt said.

According to the Humane Society, since there were only three and they could be kenneled together, it didn’t affect HSTT’s local rescue efforts.

As of Monday, one had already been adopted by a volunteer who helped transport the dogs from the Bay.

Flame and Mable have been spayed, micro-chipped and vaccinated, and are heartworm-negative, are still up for adoption.

For information about adoption or contributing to the shelter’s rescue efforts, visit www.hstt.org or call 530-587-5948.


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