Police in Dong Nai Province are investigating a local rubber plantation where a guard allegedly sicked dogs on a teenager late last month, VietNamNet said Sunday.
On November 28, Vu Thanh Tam entered the grounds of Trang Bom plantation to collect the rubber leftover from cups fastened to the rubber trees.
But the 13-year-old was discovered by the plantation guards after he managed to fetch around one kilogram.
Bui The Ngu, one of the guards, responded to the scene on a motorbike with two attack dogs. Ngu snatched the rubber bag from Tam and had the dogs attack him, the boy said.
Tam said he had pleaded to be let go but the guard just left him alone with the dogs for a while.
The dogs were only asked to stop after his clothes were all torn and he was bleeding with bites covering his arms, legs and back, the boy said.
At the police station, Ngu admitted that it was wrong to let the dogs bite the boy but he said the dogs only attacked Tam after the teenager tried to take back the rubber bag.
The man said he never chained the dogs or muzzled them during his patrol as he has been ordered to do so by his superiors.
Nguyen Dinh Nam, director of Trang Bom plantation, said the conflict between the boy and the plantation has been resolved. Nam refused to comment further.
Workers at the plantation have given Tam VND1 million (US$51.25) towards the payment of his hospital fees.
Nguyen Van Phuc, a local police officer, said many children and old people usually enter the plantation to glean rubber though they know that it is not allowed and that the plantation has been equipped with guard dogs for several years.
But Phuc said the dogs have not only attacked residents coming into the plantation but passers-by as well.
"It kept happening though we have asked the plantation to set up strict regulations for using the dogs."
In January, a woman from Dak Lak Province in the Central Highlands was killed by guard dogs at a family coffee garden.
She had come to pick up coffee beans that had fallen on the ground.
The incident stirred public anger as the owners allegedly saw the dogs attacking the woman but didn't intercede.
The case was dropped later as police said that the owners are allowed to keep dogs to protect their garden where the woman was not allowed to break in.