Dog meat is quickly declining in popularity around the world, and many activists and groups are working around the clock to put an end to its existence in places where it’s still accepted.
Dog Meat Free Indonesia, one of the groups working to ban the dog and cat meat trade, was recently at the scene of another heartbreaking bust in Indonesia.
Some places in Indonesia — Karanganyar, Salatiga and Sukoharjo, for example — have instituted a ban on the dog meat trade, but some people have chosen to ignore the new regulations.
Sadly, many of the animals who find their way to the slaughterhouses are pets that have been stolen or wandering dogs that have been picked up from the streets.
Last week, as part of the country’s “first ever large-scale police raid on an illegal dog meat slaughterhouse” in Sukoharjo, rescuers managed to intercept a truck packed with 53 hopeless dogs.
Animals Asia, a group that works with DMFI, posted about the arrest and rescue on Facebook, posting photos of the dogs bound and headed for torture.
“They found the dogs tied up in hessian sacks, their mouths tightly bound with string and cable ties,” the Facebook post read. “Most of the dogs were emaciated, and less than one year of age. One dog had died on the [grueling] journey.
“The 53 rescued dogs received emergency veterinary treatment from the DMFI team before travelling to their shelter where they will receive care to get them back to health. The chances of being able to reunite them with their families are likely to be slim, but DMFI will make local appeals.”
“Some of the dogs will be adopted locally, while others will be flown to Humane Society International’s temporary shelter in Canada from where the organisation hopes to find them forever homes.”
Lola Webber with Humane Society International was on the scene and described the dogs as “extremely traumatized.”
“My heart was pounding in my chest as we approached the truck, because I could hear the dogs’ pitiful whimpering and then saw them all tied up in sacks, their soft muzzles squeezed shut with wire,” she said in a statement, according to Newsweek.
“They were extremely traumatized and frightened. Many of them were still wearing collars, and were no doubt many miles from home, likely stolen pets grabbed from the streets.
“They will have endured the most horrific and terrifying journey, thrown in the back of a truck to be taken to this disgusting and filthy slaughterhouse where they would have been bludgeoned over the head and their throats cut. To think of the fear they must have endured is just devastating. We got there just in the nick of time because the killing usually happens in the early hours.”
According to opinion polls cited by the rescue organization, the popularity of dog meat has taken a drastic nosedive, with only 4.5 percent of the population responding positively to the query. Ninety-three percent of responding Indonesians are in favor of a nationwide ban on the trade.
While these 53 dogs are destined for a much better life than they were crammed into the back of the truck, it will be a long road to recovery.
Humane Society International stated on a fundraising page for the incident that, when found, the dogs were “in desperate need of veterinary medical attention, food, and rehabilitation to survive.”
The page shows that over $28,000 has already been raised for the cause, and hopefully it will help those 53 dogs on the road to recovery.
Authorities have said that the man arrested will likely face two to five years in prison “and/or a fine at least 150,000,000 Rupiah ($10,500 USD).”