5 Dogs
Five dogs rescued from a Cambodian slaughterhouse arrive at Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town, South Africa. © FOUR PAWS

5 dogs who were part of a group rescued from the Cambodian dog meat trade have made it safely to Cape Town thanks to animal heroes FOUR PAWS and TEARS. Now, the next part of the mission hopes to safely home them!


Cape Town, South Africa (16 February 2024)—Global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS in collaboration With TEARS Animal Rescue have done something awesome in the space of international rescues. Thanks to their team-up, a heartwarming mission is giving 5 dogs a chance at life and love in Cape Town after they were rescued from the Cambodian dog meat trade.

Gamora, Shadow, Falcon, Drax, and Maximoff are part of the 61 dogs that safely arrived at Cape Town International Airport on Valentine’s Day. The hope now is that they will each find their loving forever homes with the help of the TEARS Adoption Team!

These dogs were part of a group of 61 who, in 2021 had their lives saved from some of the most tragic circumstances. Per FOUR PAWS, a minivan had been carrying the live animals to a slaughterhouse in Cambodia; almost a year after authorities had banned the trade of dog meat. Local authorities luckily intercepted the vehicle, and soon called on FOUR PAWS to assist with the rescued animals.

“This was an exceptional case due to the situation on site. Adoptions of stray animals do not have a long tradition in Southeast Asia and are only slowly establishing themselves,” says the organisation.

“In the case of the 61 dogs seized in Cambodia, only 31 have found a new home locally. To ensure that the animals quickly find a loving home after their traumatic experiences, FOUR PAWS through its offices globally decided to place these animals in those countries as an exception. Some of them went to Switzerland and the United States.”

In more good news, all the other dogs have found their new homes. Now, it’s the last five’s turn.

“These five dogs are ambassadors for dogs who remain in those circumstances, and for other dogs in South Africa and globally that are subjected to cruelty. FOUR PAWS remain commited to implement humane and sustainable dog and cat population management programs in South Africa where we support communities and partners to participate in our stray animal management solutions,” adds Fiona Miles, FOUR PAWS Director in South Africa.

The five dogs are the only ones still searching for homes, and hopes are high that Cape Town will give them exactly that. They have all received a clean bill of health but will be kept in quarantine between 7-14 days as part of the standard travel regulations for dogs travelling between countries. The TEARS kennel can be contacted on 021 785 4482!

As for Four PAWS, the organisation has been pivotal in making the ban happen after working closely together with the Cambodian government since 2018, and continues the fight to end the dog and cat meat trades for good in many ways, like:

  • Supporting political lobbying and engagement in our target countries [Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam] and internationally
  • Improving public perceptions at both national [target countries] and international levels
  • Working with international and national health and veterinary authorities to highlight the public health risk posed by the dog meat trade
  • Supporting local organisations through their Southeast Asia Partnership Program who are working tirelessly to end trafficking in their communities
  • Working with the tourism industry in and outside destination countries to identify and highlight the risks that the dog and cat meat trade poses to travellers and local communities
  • Implementing humane and sustainable dog and cat population management programmes in Southeast Asia and supporting veterinary training wherever possible to ensure the success of such programmes

You can show your support to end the dog and cat meat trade here.

Sources: Supplied; FOUR Paws 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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