Police and animal welfare officials ended a three month long investigation after finding evidence that two men had adopted 20 stray dogs from animal shelters, and sold them to be slaughtered for meat in Taichung City.
In March this year, after an investigation by the Miaoli County Animal Protection and Epidemic Prevention Bureau, two men named Qiu – an uncle and nephew, were fined NT$30,000 each after being found guilty animal cruelty offences for trapping stray dogs using wire traps. Further investigations began when it was discovered that the two men had adopted 20 stray dogs, which were unaccounted for.
The suspects were found to have gone to animal shelters in Hsinchu County and Miaoli County to adopt the dogs from the beginning of the year to March.
The suspects claimed that they had adopted the dogs and sent them to friends as watchdogs. However, police went to each address provided and found no trace of the dogs. As the men’s lies crumbled, investigators suspected that the dogs had been sold for slaughter.
Investigators analysed traffic surveillance footage to analyze the movements of the men’s vehicles and analyzed communication records which led them to a residence in Dajia District, Taichung City. A man named Zhuang, 70, and a Vietnamese migrant worker also became suspects.
Last month, prosecutors granted a search warrant for Zhuang’s residence and an abandoned house across the street. Detectives found the remains of slaughtered dogs and dog collars, one of which matched that of a dog adopted at a shelter in Hsinchu County. DNA evidence from dog hair also matched that of an adopted dog. Police said that when they entered the abandoned house, they were greeted by a foul smell. There were splashes of blood on the wall. They found a dog’s head and leg bones in the house.
Uncle Qiu confessed that Zhuang had hired him to catch dogs and paid him NT$300 for each animal. The dogs were slaughtered in the abandoned house by foreign workers.
Today, July 26, the four men were sent to Miaoli District Prosecutor’s Office to be charged with animal cruelty offences that may see them face up to two years in prison and fines of between NT$200,000 and NT$2 million.
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