Police in Ben Tre Province have arrested three dog thieves over the past week including one who tried to escape by shooting stun gun at the officers.
The police at 1 a.m. Wednesday arrested Tran Thanh Hieu, 25, when he was selling two dead dogs he had poisoned to another man.
Hieu was fined once earlier for stealing dogs.
Ben Tre Police early on December 5 arrested two other dog thieves Tran Thien Phong, 44, and Dong Ngoc Truc, 39 after a high speed chase on a national highway at 2:30 a.m.
Phong who drove the motorbike tried to speed up while Truc, who was sitting pillion, shot at the police with the stun gun they made with wooden stocks, metal contact wires and motorbike batteries. No one was hurt.
Police found the duo were carrying three dogs that had been electrocuted with the gun.
Tran Thanh Hieu, 25, arrested in Ben Tre Province on December 16, 2015 with two dogs he had poisoned to steal from a family. Photo credit: Dan Tri
The men said they were on the way to sell the dogs in a different province.
All the dogs would have ended up in restaurants but once seized by the police, they are supposed to be disposed of as illegal goods.
Vietnam is believed to be the second biggest dog meat consumer in the world, with an estimated five million dogs killed and eaten every year. The figure in China is around 20 million.
The dog meat trade has been a target of strong international criticism as most of the dogs are pets stolen from families and usually tortured and killed in painful ways.
Usually dog thieves are only punished with a fine. They will only face criminal charges if the stolen dog's value is more than VND2 million, around US$100.
In 2009 the Ho Chi Minh City Animal Health Agency urged the government to regulate the dog meat trade.
But the central Animal Health Agency rejected the proposal, saying no other country does so.