Poisoning kills dogs at Vietnamese pet cafe

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One of Vietnam’s first pet cafes has fallen victim to an apparent poisoning attack that killed all but one of its canine companions, the owner and police said Friday.

“It’s the first case of its kind in the area,” an officer who gave his name only as Hai told dpa. Police had some suspects in mind, but “the case is still under investigation, so we cannot say much now.”

Le Hoang Duy, 23-year-old owner of Tea & Pets in Ho Chi Minh City, found his 15 dogs convulsing and frothing at mouth on November 13.

He summoned a veterinarian but only one miniature pinscher survived. His Facebook page has seen an outpouring of support and condolences.

Duy told dpa his prime suspect was a former business partner who had a key and was caught in security camera footage entering the cafe before the incident.

He also said the former partner offered him 1,000 dollars to keep the incident quiet. But Duy said he refused, noting that the he had invested 6,300 dollars for dogs that included a Chihuahua, a Chow-Chow, a Boxer and an Alaskan Malamute.

The pinscher that survived was his former partner’s favorite, Duy said.

The culprit could face up to three years in prison for criminal damage, Duy said.

The popular cafe was a popular novelty in Vietnam, and many customers brought their own dogs as well.

Increasing pet ownership in Vietnam is considered a reflection of increasing prosperity in a culture, where dogs have been more traditionally valued for their meat than as companions.

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