Meow was found living outside of a hotel in Hoi An, Vietnam, where he was fed daily by hotel staff. Somehow, he had been caught in a trap set up by cat thieves for the cat meat trade, and luckily was able to escape. But unfortunately, he sustained multiple injuries.
The trap had tightened so much around his leg that it cut through the skin and he was in a lot of pain. Meow was then taken to a rescue centre at Vietnam Cat Welfare, a FOUR PAWS partner.
His physical examination revealed he had not only a large, recent wound but also signs of prior entanglement with a snare. On his left front leg, he had multiple scars, and on his left hind paw, he suffered from a large, ulcerated wound. Meow was given immediate care, including oral antibiotics and daily bandaging and wound flushing. It was almost a week before his wound began to heal, and he could walk normally on his leg.
Now, two months later, the wound is almost healed but still requires daily care. For Meow, sadly, the emotional scars still remain.
"Traps are a common hazard for cats that roam free in Vietnam. It's miraculous Meow was able to escape, most aren't so lucky."
Dr. Katherine Polak, Head of Stray Animal Care Southeast Asia.
When Meow's wounds have healed, he will be adopted by one of the hotel staff members, who fed him and loves him very much.
But many of the other cats in the area are not as lucky as Meow. Every month, thousands of cats are trapped and brutally killed for human consumption.
In Vietnam, cat meat goes by the name 'Thit Meo' also known in English as 'Little Tiger'. Central Vietnam is home to a rampant cat meat trade with pet and stray cats stolen daily. Most are sent to Northern Vietnam, near Hanoi, for slaughter but some can be killed in cat/dog meat slaughterhouses locally.
When at the slaughterhouses, cats are subjected to a brutal fate. They are drowned in big cages, put in a poultry de-feathering machine or set on fire to remove their fur. Their suffering is immense, and their lives are cut way too short.
What is FOUR PAWS doing?
FOUR PAWS operates an exciting program in Central Vietnam called 'Cats Matter Too'. This program collaborates with local groups Vietnam Cat Welfare in Hoi An and PAWS for Compassion in Da Nang to provide desperately needed rescue services and free spay/neuter clinics for cats. The Cats Matter Too program also offers workshops to improve awareness about the brutal cat meat trade and why these animals should be treated humanely.
But FOUR PAWS is not just active in Vietnam. Our team is working actively in Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand to help bring an end to the dog and cat meat trade and save more precious lives like Meow's. Unfortunately, the Yulin festival isn't the only place where dogs and cats are brutally slaughtered. The trade takes place in Vietnam, year round.