A total 53 dogs were retrieved by Indonesian police with assistance from the Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) coalition as part of the ongoing clampdown against the dog meat industry which has continued in several countries despite bans. Of these, 45 will undertake a journey to North America and be put up for adoption.
The dogs were found in sacks on the back of a truck as it arrived at a notorious slaughterhouse that was reported to kill on average up to 30 dogs per day, according to Humane Society International (HSI).
The 45 dogs – including puppies born to some of the dogs who were heavily pregnant when rescued – had been trafficked from West Java on a grueling 365-mile journey to Sukoharjo, HSI said in a release.
The dogs were rescued with intervention from authorities and were taken by the nonprofit for medical treatment. Many of them had painful skin diseases at the time of rescue and required treatment at DMFI’s shelter for shock, dehydration, malnutrition and deep wounds from the snares used to catch them.
Now HSI is bringing these dogs to North America where they will first settle at a temporary shelter and be evaluated before being made available for adoption.
“They were skin and bones, dehydrated, weak and bewildered, suffering from profound trauma and horrific wounds from their capture,” said Lola Webber, HSI’s director of campaigns to “End Dog Meat”, who was at the police interception to help rescue the dogs.
“Now that they’ve recovered, flying them to North America will give them the best chance of a loving home where they will get to play with toys, sleep in soft beds and enjoy all the belly rubs they could they ever want.”
The dog meat trade has already been banned in 19 jurisdictions across Indonesia, said Ms Webber, who is based in Bali. However, the trade continues despite efforts by authorities to clamp down on the networks.
“I hope the government will take the next step of banning this awful trade for good so that no more dogs have to suffer this cruelty in future,” she said.
Nationwide opinion polls from 2021 show that only a small minority of Indonesians, about 4.5 per cent, consume dog meat and 93 per cent of all Indonesians support a ban on the dog meat trade.
Despite this, conservative estimates suggest more than a million dogs a year are stolen, trafficked, slaughtered and sold for human consumption.
Many of them are pets snatched from their homes or the streets who are bludgeoned and bled to death at markets or slaughterhouses.