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Owner held at gunpoint after dog thieves taser his pet in Saigon

Saturday, January 26, 2019, 19:16 GMT+7
Owner held at gunpoint after dog thieves taser his pet in Saigon
A dog thief threatens a house owner with a harpoon gun in this still photo taken from the surveillance footage of a dog theft in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City on January 25, 2019.

Two men carrying electrified harpoon guns had attempted to steal a dog by tasering the animal before threatening its owner with their weapon as he tried to intervene, in another shocking case of armed dog theft in Ho Chi Minh City.

The incident happened at around 5:00 am on Friday on a residential alley in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, according to the 43-year-old dog owner.

The owner told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper he had just let his two dogs outside for a morning walk when he heard suspicious revving sounds coming from the front of his house.

Looking outside, he saw two men on a motorbike approaching his pets, as the man on the back pointed a harpoon gun at one of the canines and shot it, in an apparent attempt to steal the animal.

The owner shouted “dog thieves!” to alert his neighbors and rushed outside to prevent the men from taking his paralyzed dog, but was held at gunpoint by the armed thief, who threatened to shoot.

The thieves got away without taking any dog, and the entire scene was captured by a surveillance camera installed at the site.

The tasered dog is recovering but remains in poor health after the attack, according to its owner.

Dog theft has been rampant in the neighborhood as another resident living on the same alley also reported that their dog had been stolen on the same morning.

A dog thief threatens a house owner with a harpoon gun in this still photo taken from the surveillance footage of a dog theft in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City on January 25, 2019.
A dog thief threatens a house owner with a harpoon gun in this still photo taken from the surveillance footage of a dog theft in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City on January 25, 2019.

Stealing dogs for their meat is a condemned yet prevalent crime in Vietnam, where dog thieves are often on the receiving end of violent beatings, sometimes resulting in death, after being caught by locals.

In June 2017, a similar case of shocking dog theft was reported in Ho Chi Minh City, when thieves armed with electrified harpoon guns were caught on CCTV trying to steal three dogs and threatening their owner.

An estimated five million dogs are slaughtered for food every year in Vietnam, many of which are stolen family pets or illegally sourced from neighboring countries, according to 2015 statistics by the Asia Canine Protection Association.

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