dogs in cage

Jun 2019

Shelter / Private home

A Moment's decision between life and death

The dramatic rescue of Neary and Sopol


In Cambodia, two innocent dogs Neary and Sopol almost met their end because of the ruthless dog and cat meat trade. 

For months our team had been conducting undercover investigations of the dog meat trade in Cambodia; a trade involving millions of animals every year, many of them beloved pets. In the capital city of Phnom Penh, the team visited more than 110 restaurants specializing in dog meat, the majority reporting they were supplied by slaughterhouses located just 2 hours away, in the province of Kampong Cham. 

The team decided to visit the slaughterhouse. When they arrived, they were introduced to one cage of four dogs tightly packed in a cage, shaking violently in fear. Two dogs violently removed from their cages, killed by suffocation, boiled, and then had their fur scraped off with knives.

Two dogs, Neary and Sopol, were the last two dogs living in the cage. And our team knew we had to take action. We negotiated with the slaughterhouse worker and worked quickly to bring Sopol and Neary to safety at our partner rescue center, Animal Rescue Cambodia.

At Animal Rescue Cambodia, Neary and Sopol received medical care for dehydration, fleas, and other minor injuries. Both dogs were extremely traumatized from their ordeal. Over the past couple months, our team has worked hard to offer both dogs the love, care, and enrichment they need to learn to trust people. 

Their names Neary and Sopol were given to them with added meaning to their new lives: in Khmer their names mean gentle girl and good strength. 

So far, both dogs have made a remarkable recovery, showing their true playful personalities. We wanted to share more with you about each dog.

Neary’s Personality

Neary is a sweet girl, but a bit shy. She can be a bit slower to warm up and feels much more secure around her friend Sopol, but when you've earned her trust she's a friend for life. When ready for adoption, we hope to find her a loving home in a quiet household.

Sopol’s Personality

Sopol is a charmer and undeniably a gorgeous dog! His development and journey has been incredible, going from being scared of humans to loving attention! He’ll run up and cuddle with anyone and has all the energy in the world to play for hours. He’s a young dog with a spring in his step and enjoys human company. His development is proof that a little bit of love and commitment can go a long way.

"Our team is committed to not only helping dogs from the horrific trade, but also teaching the public more about these amazing animals and why they deserve to have a right to life. The team is also hard at work helping to offer solutions for different employment opportunities so dog meat traders, slaughterhouse owners and more can find a new profession that does not contribute to this insurmountable suffering. This way, change can happen and can last."

Claire LaFrance, Head of Communications USA

rescuer with dog

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