A man and woman were on Monday detained in central Vietnam after they allegedly poisoned 20 dogs and 10 cats to death, according to agency reports.
Earlier, residents in Thanh Hoa Commune, located about six hours South-West of Hanoi, woke up to the grim scene of a road littered with the bodies of cats and dogs and immediately alerted the police.
The residents who raised the alarm worked with local authorities and kept a watchful eye on the street to see if the culprits returned.
However, a man and woman were spotted at the scene collecting the dead animals and putting them into bags. They were apprehended as they tried to make their escape by motorbike.
Police confirmed the animals had been poisoned and that the suspects were residents of Hai Duong province, located about five hours away. Several residents in the area were said to have reported missing pets in recent weeks.
Dog and cat killings are not uncommon in Vietnam, where many still eat the animals, particularly in Northern regions. In September 2019, 16 gang members were arrested and 51 dogs rescued as part of an investigation into the thefts of thousands of dogs in Northern Vietnam.
The country’s dog meat consumption has made it the target of animal welfare campaigns in the past, and the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA) estimates that five million dogs are killed and eaten in the country every year.