Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dogs in Saigon (Mystery Solved)

I learned something new and would like to share it with anyone who has or is thinking of keeping a dog here in Saigon.  The address and number to the Ho Chi Minh City Dog Catcher is

252 Ly Chinh Thang Street, D3. Telephone: 083 931 8432.

Here's our story:

We have two cool dogs.  One is a dachshund (wiener dog) and the other is a Pho Quoc.  In spite of our best efforts they sometimes escape the yard and take a stroll around the block.  We'll usually walk after them and bring them back.  However, the other morning both my wife and I were running late and our Phu Quoc just wasn't responding.  She would return shortly, and get them.  Bad idea.

It's common knowledge that people eat dogs here.  I've heard stories of dog-napping of even leashed animals.  People don't seem to know that there is a dog restaurant not more than a block away from Pham Ngu Lao.  I've seen people hauling a cage-full of dogs down the road on a Honda Cub.

I've also heard of fake "dog catcher" team that dresses up like dog catchers and goes around collecting dogs into a truck.  I've never heard of anyone talking about a legitimate city dog catcher.  Until recently.

We both searched around and couldn't find her. There were marks on the gate where she had scratched to try and get back in.  Bummer. Big bummer. She's probably being cooked right now.  Not a good feeling, trust me.

Luckily, our neighbors were able to get some information from the truck that sped off with our Phu Quoc.  They did some internet research and found an address.  We started searching for a phone number on the internet (it was like 6 pm by this point and we knew that they would be closed).  There was just no number to be found.  Finally, we called a Vet here out where we live and got a number.

Behold: the only English page on the internet with the address phone number to the Ho Chi Minh City Dog Catcher:

252 Ly Chinh Thang Street, D3. Telephone: 083 931 8432.

My wife did some further research and found that they actually started doing this  a full 10 years ago.  Nobody (Vietnamese or Expat) seems to know about them.  Why they don't care to publish such information beyond me.

Anyway, back to the story.  We called them that night and they confirmed that they had been out to District 2 that day.  My wife went there the next morning and got our dog back.  I had to wash our dog and pick some ticks off of her.  She was pretty shaken by it and has been more careful about strangers ever since.  But she's home.

We were not smart, but the fact is that dogs go on a walk-about sometimes.  If your dog is missing here, it's probably not going to be a happy ending.  But there is a chance that it will be at the City dog pound.