Police in the southern province of Binh Duong on Friday arrested a man suspected of trading in stolen dogs.
Nguyen Van Minh, 41, faces charges of fencing stolen goods.
He was pulled over Thursday with 10 dead dogs stacked on his motorbike.
Police said the animals had either been poisoned or electrocuted the day before.
Minh told police he bought the animals from dog thieves for VND3.9 million (US$180) in total to sell at his dog meat restaurant in Thu Dau Mot Town, the capital city of Binh Duong.
The man also confessed to having purchased another 13 dog carcasses for a total of VND4.1 million ($189) from a man named Huy on January 6-7.
Speaking to Thanh Nien, Nguyen Van Minh, head of the neighborhood where Minh ran his restaurant, said Minh resold meat to other restaurants and sellers at local markets since his restaurant did not have many customers.
He also accused Minh and his employees of poisoning dogs and then buying their corpses from their bereaved owners
Dogs at a slaughterhouse. Photo: Xuan Bui
Since 2012, local militiamen have caught Minh and his employees stealing and or buying stolen dogs on several occasions. They later handed them over to local police, who released them without charges, according to the neighborhood manager.
On the other hand, Nguyen Van Luoc, head of Phu Loi Ward Police, said they could not seek criminal charges against Minh, because they could not identify his victims.
Their investigation remains underway.
Dog theft is considered a misdemeanor in Vietnam, given that stolen dogs are often valued at less than VND2 million ($92) – the threshold for criminal charges here.
However, dog theft has become a serious problem in recent years, since many victims have begun venting their rage on thieves instead of handing them over to police. Many thieves have been caught and beaten to death in instances of communal mob violence.