Five dogs rescued from a Cambodian slaughterhouse arrive at Cape Town International Airport

Cambodia Dog Rescue #FromCagetoCapeTown

FOUR PAWS South Africa in collaboration with TEARS Animal Rescue facilitate cross-border adoption (CBA) campaign of 5 rescued dogs from Cambodia


Cape Town, 15 February 2024  – Global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS in collaboration with TEARS Animal Rescue have joined forces on a heartwarming cross-border adoption (CBA) campaign in hopes to change the lives of 5 dogs – Gamora, Shadow, Falcon, Drax and Maximoff who are part of the 61 dogs that were rescued from the cruel meat trade in Cambodia. The dogs arrived in Cape Town on Valentines' Day, 14 February 2024 with the hope that they will each find their loving forever homes through the TEARS Adoption Team. The dogs have received a clean bill of health but will be kept in quarantine between 7 and 14-days as part of the standard travel regulations for dogs traveling between countries, before being transported to TEARS. To find out more or apply to adopt one of these five dogs, see here.

In February of 2021, a minivan carrying 61 live dogs was intercepted on route to a Cambodian slaughterhouse by the local authorities after a law was passed in July of 2020 in the city of Siem Reap banning the dog meat trade. The ban followed FOUR PAWS working closely together with the Cambodian government since 2018 advocating for a ban on the dog meat trade due to the extreme animal cruelty involved and public health risk, largely due to rabies and the spread of other zoonotic diseases. FOUR PAW’s Dog & Cat Meat Trade Report was cited in the official announcement by the Cambodian government.

Following this interception and after arresting the trafficker, the Cambodian authorities reached out to FOUR PAWS to assist in taking care of the rescued animals.

FOUR PAWS said that this was “an exceptional case due to the situation on site. Adoptions of stray animals do not have a long tradition in Southeast Asia and are only slowly establishing themselves. In the case of the 61 dogs seized in Cambodia, only 31 have found a new home locally. To ensure that the animals quickly find a loving home after their traumatic experiences, FOUR PAWS through its offices globally decided to place these animals in those countries as an exception. Some of them went to Switzerland and the United States.”

Fiona Miles, FOUR PAWS Director in South Africa, said, “In Southeast Asia stray dogs and cats as well as family pet animals live in constant risk of being picked up by meat traders and killed. The dog and cat meat trade is not prevalent in South Africa on the scale that is seen elsewhere but several reports indicate that this cruelty is practiced in some regions on the continent. It is very active in Southeast Asia in countries like Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam. These five dogs are ambassadors for dogs who remain in those circumstances, and for other dogs in South Africa and globally that are subjected to cruelty. FOUR PAWS remain committed to implement humane and sustainable dog and cat population management programs in South Africa where we support communities and partners to participate in our stray animal management solutions.”

Hard work was put into healing and finding loving homes for all the souls rescued by the FOUR PAWS team. After various adoption campaigns in Cambodia and other countries where FOUR PAWS operates, these are the 5 remaining dogs who need to find their forever families. Be part of Gamora, Shadow, Falcon, Drax and Maximoff’s #FromCageToCapeTown journey and join FOUR PAWS and TEARS Animal Rescue find forever homes for these deserving dogs who managed to escape the dog meat trade.

FOUR PAWS' approach to ending the dog and cat meat trade is to support communities, pet owners and governments and includes the following:

  • Supporting political lobbying and engagement in our target countries [Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam] and internationally
  • Improve public perception at both national [target countries] and international levels
  • Work with international and national health and veterinary authorities to highlight the public health risk posed by the dog meat trade
  • Supporting local organizations through our Southeast Asia Partnership Program who are working tirelessly to end trafficking in their communities.
  • Work with the tourism industry in and outside destination countries to identify and highlight the risks that the dog and cat meat trade poses to travellers and local communities
  • Implement humane and sustainable dog and cat population management programs in Southeast Asia and support veterinary training whenever possible to ensure the success of such programs.

 FOUR PAWS is working towards the protection of animals under direct human influence, and this includes many species from companion, farm and wild animals.

To apply to adopt one of these five dogs, see here.

For more on FOUR PAWS ZA, see here.

For more on the dog meat trade, see here.

To help end the dog (and cat) meat trade in Southeast Asia, see here.


Public Relations Officer ZA

Deidre Daniels

Public Relations Officer

+27 (0)21 702 4277

+27 (0)78 675 8220

9B Bell Crescent, Westlake Business Park, 
Green Building, Cape Town, 7945

A Public Relations professional with over eight years’ experience in fostering positive relationships between organisations and media.

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. 

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