Demand Harsher Penalties for Dog Smugglers


Target: Thai authorities

Goal: Demand harsher penalties for dog smuggling

In Thailand, dogs are snatched every day to be smuggled into other countries, where they will be eaten. They are packed into trucks by the hundreds, hidden from the authorities’ views, and smuggled across Thailand’s border. Once at their destination, dogs are placed in stress cages that restrict their movement, since it is commonly believed that stress and fear releases hormones that improve the taste of the meat. Eventually, dogs are bludgeoned to death, have their throats slit, or are skinned alive in front of the rest of the group.

The groups of dogs are made up of strays (called Soi dogs), people’s pets, purebred dogs, and any other dog the smugglers can get their hands on. They are exported to many surrounding countries, either for meat or for money, like in China, where a purebred dog is worth quite a bit. John Dalley of the Soi Dog Foundation estimates that 98% of the smuggled dogs are domesticated. Some are still wearing collars when they are discovered and have been trained and respond to commands. “You can see all types of pedigree animals in these captured Thai shipments — golden retrievers, long-haired terriers, you name it,” says Dalley. “Some are bought. Others are snatched from streets, temples, and even people’s gardens.”

While the trade is illegal in Thailand, and authorities have made a number of raids involving thousands of dogs, dog traders claim the laws are unclear and have even mounted counter-protests against a series of crackdowns.

However, smugglers are normally prosecuted under laws that prohibit the illegal trade and transportation of animals and, with no direct animal cruelty laws in Thailand, prosecutors attempt to charge smugglers with cruelty under Criminal Code laws. They often receive light sentences of just a few months in jail. Animal activists say that thousands of the rescued impounded dogs that end up in quarantine centers can find their way back onto the streets and in the dog meat cycle again.

Tell Thai authorities to make the sentences for dog smuggling stronger and to continue working to eradicate the dog meat trade.


Dear Thai authorities,

With dogs being snatched from loving homes every day to become a part of the dog meat trade, changes need to be made. The system to keep dog smugglers from being able to smuggle animals across the boarder isn’t working. Sentences for smuggling are too light to be taken seriously, especially since each dog can bring as much as $10. With a truck packed full of hundreds of dogs, that is a lot of money that greatly outweighs the few month penalty of being caught smuggling.

You must work outside of Thailand to prevent dog smuggling. Other countries, such as Vietnam and China, need to work with you in order to stop this trade. However, only Thailand can stop the problem in Thailand, which starts with cracking down and giving harsher penalties for dog smuggling.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Burty1 via Wikimedia Commons

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