The Ben Tre police have arrested three men they caught re-handed with 27 poisoned dogs they allegedly planned to sell to restaurants in a neighboring province.
Tran Ngoc Nguyen, 36, Nguyen Thanh Binh, 38, and Nguyen Huu Tri, 25, were taken in Saturday evening after being caught with the dogs in cages on three motorbikes on National Highway 60.
They claimed that an unidentified person had hired them to transport the animals to My Tho town in Tien Giang Province and paid VND300,000 per trip.
The Ben Tre police have arrested several alleged dog thieves in recent times.
The thieves are reckless and willing to attack chasers with home-made guns, they said.
Dog meat consumption is common in Vietnam, where the government does not regulate the trade. The meat fetches up to VND200,000 (US$9) per kilogram.
There have been several fatal clashes between dog thieves and furious mobs, especially in central provinces.