Breeding imported dogs as pets has been now becoming a trend in many in big cities such as Hanoi and HCM City.
But there has been an increase in the number of owners attacked, and in some cases even killed, according to Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) Newspaper.
Since earlier this year, there were many cases that the people were bitten by their dogs and died of rabies in Hanoi, the newspaper reported.
In earlier August this year, a man living in Thanh Xuân District was bitten in the neck by a 30kg Malinois dog owned by his neighbour. The dog was not wearing a muzzle.
The tragic story is just the one in a series of recent fatalities caused by dog bites.
In the middle of July, an eight-month old baby girl living on Đội Cấn Street in Hanoi died from bites by her own family’s 40kg dog.
Another case occurred in Thường Tín District.
According to the paper, the owner was attacked by his pitbull as he feed it. Witnessing the incident, his neighbor rushed to rescue the dog owner but the kind-hearted neighbour was also attacked by the dog.
The two men needed hospital treatment for their injuries.
Dog owners and people living close to dogs are not the only victims. Veterinarians are also vulnerable.
In June, a 24-year-old vet had her arm bitten by a dog who was being treated at a private clinic in Hanoi.
Despite sterilising the bite, the doctor, who had not been vaccinated against rabies, gradually felt the pain from the bite spread through her whole body. Six weeks after being bitten, she died en route to the hospital.
Many dog and cat bite and scratch victims didn’t receive the right medical treatment and died as a result of their injuries.
Dương Xuân Tĩnh, head of veterinary centre of Thường Tín District, said: “At present, breeding imported savage dogs seemed to boom in many localities in general and in the district in particular”.
“Most of dog owners did not inform authorities and did not get the pets vaccinated”, Tĩnh told the paper.
Many people now bought the adult dogs which were bred by many owners previously so the dogs may not distinguish the current owners. They became fierce and agitated to easily attack people, said Tĩnh.
According to the Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, about 350 dogs were imported to Việt Nam every year mainly from Europe, the US, Japan and Australia.
Notably, some breeds such as dobermans, rottweilers and pitbulls were banned in some countries because of their violent nature, the department said.
Just one click on the internet, a number of species of dogs are easily available.
Lack of knowledge from breeders is also an issue when raising the animal as this might cause difficulties in the management of imported pet dogs.
Nguyễn Thanh Dung in Hà Đông District said when she saw her neighbours raising dogs, she liked the dogs and decided to buy a doberman and a poodle online.
When buying the dogs, Dung had no idea about the animals’ characteristics and bought them simply because she liked the breed.
Many pet owners have thought that their pets were healthy so they did not get the pets vaccinated against rabies.
According to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, every year about 500,000 people were bitten and then got vaccinated and 67 people died of rabies nationwide in the first nine months of this year.
Phạm Văn Đông, head of the Veterinary Department said the Government had issued a decree on animal rabies prevention and regulations on imported pet animals.
The regulation requires importers to show quarantine certificates of exporting countries which certified the animals has no clinical signals of rabies.
“But, in Việt Nam, there were many cases where people brought animals from abroad to raise without reporting to the local authorities”, said Đông.
In order to prevent and fight against rabies, provinces and cities needed to disseminate information and raise awareness to people of raising dogs of unknown origins, Đông said.
“At the same time, people were advised to carefully find out dog breeds, especially savage dogs before buying to raise as pets”, he added.
Under the National Programme on Controlling and Eradicating Rabies in Hanoi, the city has asked authority to provide rabies vaccines to dogs and cats as well as raise people’s awareness of the danger of rabies and signs of identification of dogs and cats infected with rabies, according to Nguyễn Ngọc Sơn, head of Hanoi Veterinary Department.
Regarding this issue, Vice Chairman of Thường Tín District People’s Committee Nguyễn Tuấn Thịnh said the district had asked the communes to review and accurately count the number of households raising pets and support the vaccination against rabies to the animals.
It was necessary to require the dog breeders to inform and register the dog breeds and strictly observe the regulations on keeping the dog in the family to ensure the safety of life for other people, Thịnh said.