Aspate of dog thefts in sangkat Khmuonh, in Russey Keo district, has forced residents
to chain their pets up in order to keep them off the menu.
At least a hundred canines have disappeared recently, said local officials. The dogs
are believed to be stolen to satisfy the appetites of dog-meat enthusiasts.
Yim Davuth, deputy police chief of sangkat Khmuonh said dog thefts happen throughout
his sangkat and around the country, but a group of villages known as Sen Sok seems
to be hit the hardest.
Davuth said the dogs in the Sen Sok community were being stolen to supply meat for
customers in the community, but there is no established shop or restaurant specializing
in dog meat, as in other areas.
"Just Sen Sok community alone gives us a headache," said Davuth, adding
that his 17 officers were not enough to control the 13 villages of sangkat Khmuonh.
"The thieves start stealing at 11 p.m. when the lights go off."
Thorn Thay, a 40-year-old resident of Sen Sok 3, said two of his dogs were stolen
recently, one just before dawn and the other in broad daylight while he wasn't home.
When Thay went to his village chief to complain about the thefts, the official replied
that he did not know how to deal with the case because "even his dog was stolen."
San Sokha, the chief of Sen Sok community, said residents were afraid of the dog
thieves because they are said to carry Samurai swords.
"We cannot crack down on them with a few people," Sokha said. "Only
police can crack down on them."
The Sen Sok community consists mostly of people relocated from the Meanchhey and
Chamkar Morn districts of Phnom Penh after their homes were destroyed by fires in
Nounn Sopheak, 26, a villager in Sen Sok 3, said he began chaining up his two dogs
after another two dogs were stolen three months ago.
Sopheak said he suspected thieves used baits to trap the dogs.
The cost of one dog ranges from 30,000 riel ($7.50) to 60,000 riel ($15), said Sen
"If the dog is still alive, it is more expensive than a dead one," said