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Dog Apollo

From Cage to California

11/19/2020

Dogs saved from Cambodian meat trade, Take “Freedom Flights” to U.S. for Adoption

Our team on the ground in Cambodia has closed two dog slaughterhouses in the last twelve months! Each one of these missions took months of negotiations and planning. FOUR PAWS rescued over thirty dogs from these two slaughterhouses with help from local partner charity, Animal Rescue Cambodia.

Eleven of those rescued dogs are now embarking on their “Freedom Flights” to the United States, just in time to find homes for the holidays. Their journey frees up more rescue space locally, as stray animals -and pets alike- are being stolen at alarming rates to satiate the cruel dog and cat meat trade! Our staff have witnessed dogs literally snatched off the streets, pets constantly disappearing, and motorbikes with cages packed with dogs clogging the roads. This critical situation necessitates our combined approach of local community engagement and the rescue of animals from the cruel clutches of the trade.

Dogs Elvis, Sabbay, Lavery, Sherlock, Brodie, Delphi, Somphos, Bodie, Ethel, Sok, and Charlie, all rescued from the dog meat trade, are flying from Cambodia to Los Angeles, California. Each has a special story to tell.

Bodie was rescued during the course of our first slaughterhouse closure back in October 2019, in Takeo Province. Despite what she has experienced, she is a happy-go-lucky, playful and snuggly two-year-old. 

Brodie, Ethel, Delphi, Sherlock, Somphos, Sabbay, Lavery, Elvis, and Charlie were rescued in August 2020 during our second slaughterhouse closure in Kampong Thom. There were fifteen dogs in total held on-site, awaiting slaughter. All were taken into our care and brought to our local partner in Phnom Penh.

Sok is one of the oldest in this group. Sok was sadly abandoned by his previous owner, making him a perfect target for dog catchers for the meat trade. Fortunately, our team found him before anyone else did! Sok is calm and gentle and while he hates cats, he loves laying in the dirt.

For these eleven dogs, the flights to the U.S. are the last leg of their journey to safety. Our shelter partner based out of San Diego, The Barking Lot, will lovingly welcome the dogs, house them for the required quarantine period, and then facilitate their adoption.

While these transports won’t solve the dog and cat meat trade problem in Asia, they are one important component of our multifaceted approach to combat it.

This work would also not be possible without our vast network of shelter and project partners in Southeast Asia offering veterinary assistance, care, housing, public outreach, community education and advocacy. In Cambodia, our partner charity Animal Rescue Cambodia provides rescue support and a safe facility where many of our meat trade survivors receive possibly their first gentle touch and affection from a human, first bath and first vet check. And not to forget – all of our supporters who make this possible. With your help, we will continue our journey for an end to this brutal trade.

From the meat trade cage to sunny California, from Cambodia to San Diego: While these flights may not be these dogs’ first journey, their destination will give them a safe and loving future.