Sixty one dogs are saved from being eaten

Sixty-one dogs have been saved from being turned into dog meat after they were found crammed into six tiny metal cages on their way to a Cambodian slaughterhouse.

The dogs, who were packed on top of each other, were being taken to be slaughtered in Kampong Cham, southeastern Cambodia on Sunday.

But the minivan transporting the dogs was intercepted leaving nearby Siem Reap by the Provincial Department of Agriculture in collaboration with local police, according to international animal welfare charity Four Paws.

It is the first government-led interception of canines in the country since the dog meat ban came into force in Siem Reap in July last year. 

The lucky dogs, which were both strays and stolen pets, were taken from the crowded minivan and authorities arrested the driver. 

The dogs, who were lying in precarious and uncomfortable positions in the minivan, were quickly removed from the overcrowded cages and released into a small holding area where they were free to roam. 

Most of the pups were youngsters and many showed signs of severe heat exhaustion and dehydration. Charity workers believe they hadn't eaten for days. 

They are now being taken care of by Four Paws charity workers and local charities Paw Patrol Cambodia and Animal Rescue Cambodia. Emergency feeding and medication will be provided for all of the 61 dogs. 

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