About 800 dogs were saved from the cooking pot in Vietnam by a navy unit operating on the Mekong River early on Thursday. The navy’s Mekong peace-keeping operation unit intercepted a group of smugglers trying to take a truckload of dogs by boat across the river to Laos from Nakhon Phanom’s Ban Phaeng district.

Capt Teerakiat Thong-aram, commander of the unit operating in Nakhon Phanom, said a team acting on a tip-off caught the smugglers in the act at Don Phaeng village in tambon Ban Phaeng at about 4am. They seized a six-wheeled truck loaded with 40 cages with about 800 dogs crammed into them as it was about to board a ferry waiting on the river bank.

One man was arrested. He was identified as Preecha Utthasri, 37, of Ban Phaeng district. Other members of the gang fled into the night. About 100 empty cages were also found on the river bank. They were believed to have been used to transport at least 2,000 dogs to Vietnam via Laos previously and then returned to Thailand, but had not yet been collected, Capt Teerakiat said.

It was the second recent interception of smugglers trying to take dogs to Vietnam for use in exotic dishes in restaurants. On Dec 26, about 300 dogs were rescued by a navy team on the bank of the Mekong river at Ban Thalad in Ban Phaeng district. One man was arrested. Nakhon Phanom deputy governor Somdee Khathayangyuen said smuggling gangs received a lot of orders for dogs during the New Year festival, when dog meat was very popular in Vietnam.

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“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” is the creed often falsely accredited to the US Postal Service due to their reliability in the past.

But it seems that dogs have managed to stay these couriers in Oregon.

The U.S. Postal Service is blaming a couple of dogs for its decision to suspend mail service in one Oregon neighborhood.

A spokesperson for the Postal Service says one of its mail carriers feels threatened by a pair of dogs that live in a Longview duplex.

Recently the Postal Service sent a letter to everyone on the block urging them to purchase a Post Office box if they wish to receive mail.

If the dogs are removed the Postal Service says it will restore service.

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The three Great Danes and one blue pit bull were subpoenaed to appear in Multnomah County Circuit Court this week in the animal neglect trial of their owners, Wayne Martin and Layne Woods.

The Portland, Oregon, residents are accused of failing to give two of the dogs adequate veterinary care.

Defense attorney Chris O’Connor subpoenaed Merlin, Patches, Coco and Raven to demonstrate that they were in good shape.

The group waited quietly — and without accidents — Monday and Tuesday to be called for the witness stand in Judge John Wittmayer’s courtroom.

They slept on small rugs and sprawled in the hall. Occasionally, they slurped water from a metal bowl or scarfed down treats. Mostly they waited with their handlers — no barking, no yelping, and no accidents on the marble floor.

Finally, after hours of waiting on Tuesday, they were led into the courtroom. The jurors looked at each, and then the dogs were led out.

Only Raven did anything untoward as she stood before the witness stand, but the multi-colored rug hid the slobber spot.

Police seized the four on May 12 — three days after an ailing Shar-Pei had been voluntarily handed over to authorities and was later euthanized.

Witnesses from the Oregon Humane Society said all were infested with fleas, one Great Dane had leg wounds so deep they were oozing pus and the Shar-Pei had a pus-filled mass on her head.

Defense attorneys contend that the prosecution’s accusations are overblown, and the dogs had food, water and shelter in a loving home.

Wittmayer told The Oregonian that he had once been told about such a procedure from three decades ago, but nobody else recalled anything similar.

The trial was resuming Wednesday with human witnesses.

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Residents in Albuquerque’s foothills say a huge, hungry owl has moved into their area and is eating small dogs and cats.

“We’ve seen him 3 or 4 times. He’s huge. One day when we were walking, he swooped down over my husband’s head. He’s a huge owl,” said Cindy Hummel.

A lot of people who live near Tramway and Academy say the owl or owls have gone after their dogs. Regina Johnson says she thinks she found what were claw marks on her dog.

Marie Iverson says an owl who lives near a church behind her home killed her puppy. She says she let the dog out on the patio, then heard the puppy yelp. When Marie went outside, the puppy was gone. A zookeeper says owls are night hunters so if an owl lives near you, it’s a good idea to keep your pets in at night.

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An evening stroll through a corn maze at Danvers’ Connors Farm, Massachusetts, took a confusing turn on Monday for a family that became disoriented in the rows of corn and called 911 to ask for help. A father and mother with two children used their cell phone to call Danvers Police at 6:32 p.m. reporting that they were lost in the corn maze. Danvers Officer Justin Ellenton responded to the call and entered the corn maze with Connor’s Farm manager Ritchie Potter to search for the family.

Within nine minutes of entering the maze, Officer Ellenton and Potter found the family. The family had almost found their way out, unbeknownst to them, they were only 25 feet from the street. Police are not releasing the name of the family. The 7-acre corn maze is a challenging course said owner of the farm, Bob Connor. This year’s course with a design cut into the corn of the “Salem Village Headless Horseman” may be trickier than years past Connor said.

“We had a few people who got a bit lost last year but they found their way out,” Connor said. “There is no wire or fence around the maze, so if they really want or need to get out all they have to do is listen for the sound of traffic they can always make their way through the corn rows to the road.” Connor said that the farm has a night security person on hand every night and they stay until everybody leaves.

“We make sure there are no cars left in the parking lot. We don’t want to leave anybody behind in the maze,” Connor said. Connor had just left the farm for the evening when he got a call from a friend who had heard on the police scanner that somebody was stuck in the maze. They were a really nice family. We offered for them to come back on us and try the maze again – but I think they had enough,” Connors said.

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They say that it’s a dog-eat-dog world, but in this case it’s more of a dog-eats-owner world!

Seven dogs starved of food and water for two weeks are suspected of eating their Indonesian owner after he returned to his hometown in Manado from a holiday, local media reported on Tuesday.

A neighborhood guard was curious when he saw luggage lined up at the front of Andre Lumboga’s house, days after the 50-year old arrived back home. He approached the house, smelled something foul and called the police, according to a report.

“His skull was found in the kitchen, and his body was found in the front of his house,” Eriyana, a local police chief in Batam, an island off Sumatra, told VIVAnews website.

Lumboga arrived home last Wednesday, but his body was just discovered on Monday.

“We suspect that the dogs were hungry, so they attacked Andre, because they had not been fed for 14 days,” he said. Police also found bones of two other dogs, believed to have also been eaten by the hungry canines.

Lumboga was from northern Sulawesi island, a predominantly Christian area, where the local spicy diet is famous in Indonesia for including dogs, bats and forest rats.

It is unclear whether Lumboga had abandoned the animals, or had asked someone to feed them who subsequently did not.

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