Dog love turned ugly once again in Vietnam where a northern community ambushed a dog thief gang on Friday night, beating two to death and leaving two others barely conscious.
Le Van Diep, chairman of Thach Binh Commune in Thanh Thanh District, Thanh Hoa Province said the mob attack in Bang Phu hamlet killed Nguyen Van Ngan and Nguyen Van Dung, while Bui Van Thao and Quach Van Duong were severely wounded.
All the four suspected thieves lived in the same district, but different hamlet, Diep said.
According to locals' account, the suspects' first attempt to steal some dogs in Bang Phu on Friday afternoon failed, but they managed to escape.
Residents of Bang Phu hamlet decided to ambush the thieves that night.
At around 11 p.m., they spotted the four leaving the hamlet on two motorbikes, carrying a dog and dog-catching tools such as lassos and stun guns.
They stopped the thieves and kept beating them until the police arrived.
Diep said people of Bang Phu hamlet have been enraged about dog theft as many of them lost their pets recently.
Dog theft in Vietnam has been fueled by those who treat the animals as a delicacy.
Restaurants pay between VND100,000 and VND200,000 (US$4.8-$9.6) per dog.
Because stolen dogs are often valued less than VND2 million (around US$100) – the threshold for criminal charges – the idea that thieves only suffer an administrative fine inspires communities to take matters into their own hands.
Angry mobs have brutally assaulted dog thieves throughout Vietnam in acts of vigilante justice.