The police lieutenant who has saved 60 dogs from the streets

April, 12/2022 - 11:07
Traffic police officer Lieutenant Lê Hùng Dương has had to take on many part-time jobs — to earn extra cash to look after the 60 dogs he has adopted over the past four years. 

 

Feeding time at Lê Hùng Dương's house. Dương has rescued 60 dogs of all kinds. — Photos nhipsongviet.toquoc.vn.

HÀ NỘI — Traffic police officer Lieutenant Lê Hùng Dương has had to take on many part-time jobs – to earn extra cash to look after the 60 dogs he has adopted over the past four years. 

In a small alley in Tân Lợi Ward, Buôn Ma Thuột City, in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk, Lieutenant Dương rescues and raises these dogs all alone. They are the lucky pups, taken under Dương wing after being abandoned or destined for the slaughterhouse.

Dương, who is working for Buôn Ma Thuột City’s Traffic Police Division under Đắk Lắk Province’s Police Department, has a special love for animals. When he was a child, he loved playing with dogs, holding them and teaching them skills.

Now he is the father of 60 dogs. Dương's day starts at 5am and only ends at midnight. He cleans up the crates and goes to the market to buy food for dogs before going to work with the traffic police. Dương spends his lunch break at home, cooking rice for dogs and feeding the ill and weak animals. In the evening, when he finishes his part-time job, he returns home to prepare meals for all his pets and checks the ill dogs to make sure they are healthy.

Dương said every day he pre-orders and picks up fresh food to cook for dogs. Meat is washed with salt to ensure food hygiene.

“They are like children. They look at each other’s bowls to make sure they’re treated fairly. Ill dogs sometimes skip a meal, and only finish it when I sit next to them and pamper them,” he told nhipsongviet.toquoc.vn.

Dương prepares food for his dogs.

Looking at them wagging their tails and jumping up to him whenever he returns home is such a blessing. It helps him forget all the fatigue of the day.

Explaining the decision to raise so many dogs, Dương recounts rescuing his first dogs when he was working with the criminal police in 2017.

On his way home after working late, Dương happened to find out two men on motorbikes carrying two bags. Sensing something was amiss he gave chase. The men threw the bags on the ground and fled the scene.

“When I opened the bags, I saw a lot of dogs inside. There was a pregnant dog, and she was about to give birth but was electrocuted and suffocated. Her body was very weak,” he recalled.

“I decided to bring them back to my house and take care of them. But I could only keep one puppy,” he said.

From then, he decided to search for abandoned dogs to raise them in his house.

Dương said although having experience in accessing dogs and rescuing them, he was sometimes bitten and scratched. After four years, Dương has had to receive six vaccinations against rabies.

“Don't be afraid to come into contact with them,” he said.

Dương said he once stayed with the dog and ate with it, so it felt secure and closed to him.

He said his monthly wage was more than VNĐ10 million (US$437), but it cost VNĐ20 million ($874) to raise his pets. That’s why he has done many different part-time jobs as a cleaner, a maid or a porter to earn money.

The dogs were all very obedient and knew that Dương was the one who saved their lives. Dương said some people came to ask for a pet, he only agreed if he knew that the dogs would be raised as a pet. — VNS