Dog poisoners target pets in Ho Chi Minh City expat district

Published:  29 Aug at 6 PM
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Expats living in District 2’s Thao Dien area in Vietnam’s capital city are losing their beloved dogs and cats to poison deliberately put down by an unknown killer.

The Thao Dien area in Ho Chi Minh City is a favourite with expats living and working in the city, and many have taken rescued dogs into their homes and lives. The community is now threatened by a sick person whose aim seems to be using poison to get rid of expats’ beloved dogs and cats. The pet poisoning is deliberate, as the dogs who’ve died were kept in their owners’ gardens and not allowed to run free in the streets.

A Facebook post by Columbian expat Fernando Ruizbo, whose dog died from poison, described how she had passed away despite attempts to save her by a local veterinary. The vet told Ruizbo she was the second dog on his street to die, with the first being given the poison through the owner’s gate. A local news website, SaoStar, featured the tragedies, saying that eight dogs in the area’s Streets 2,3,4 and 5 had been poisoned, along with a cat. Only one dog had survived, but is still having treatment for damage done by the poison to her liver and lungs.

An expat resident wrote to a local newspaper, stating a person or group had been poisoning dogs in the four streets and adding the police had received a report but were not interested in taking action. The newspaper subsequently ran the report, saying expats’ pets were being specifically targeted. The media report also stated the loss of their dogs had seriously affected an expat community which has fully supported Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam.

Last Sunday, a protest group of around 30 expat residents staged a short march, carrying placards demanding justice for the deaths of their much-loved dogs. The group signed a petition aimed at the local authority, urging it to investigate the poisonings of expat-owned pets and noting that 80 per cent of the poisonings were of dogs who were within their owners’ properties. I

It also noted small pieces of meat had been used to conceal the poison, which could easily have been picked up and eaten by children. Later, local police said they had accepted the petition and would be studying CCTV footage in order to hopefully identify the person responsible for the dogs’ deaths. In the meantime, expats whose dogs are still safe are afraid to sleep or to let their pets out into their yard or garden.

Unfortunately, poisonings of dogs are not uncommon all over Southeast Asia, but are usually random and often aimed at street dogs rather than household pets, although excessively noisy or aggressive pet dogs can also fall foul of this cruel action.
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