BackArts & Culture » Culture » [Video] The Homeless Saigon Man Who Built a Home for Rescue Dogs

[Video] The Homeless Saigon Man Who Built a Home for Rescue Dogs

In recent years, uproar over the consumption of dog meat has culminated in demands for a national ban on the controversial dish, which some consider a traditional delicacy while others claim it is unethical.

Many dog lovers have organized advocacy groups to work towards abolishing dogs as a food source, hoping their collective efforts will raise public awareness about some of the practice’s darker elements. Among them is a man who, at first glance, seems somewhat lonely in his endeavor, roaming the streets of Saigon on a motorized cart with his beloved dogs and a sign that reads: “Not for sale. Dogs are friends, not food.” 

Frequent District 4 and 5 often enough and one will eventually notice an old man of small stature driving around town collecting trash. It’s what he carries on at the back of his self-constructed vehicle that makes him stand out: dogs, young and old, peeking comfortably through their iron container’s blue bars at the curious world. It is easy to mistake the man for a dog seller, until you see his heartfelt note. These dogs are not only his friends, but also his family.

Võ Văn Thành sets out onto the streets every day to deliver his message to as many people as possible, dedicating his life to rescuing dogs from thieves, slaughterhouses and abandonment. While living alone and without a home for years, he has found a home in the presence of his dogs and met others who share his hopes and struggles.

The video below gives a glimpse into a typical day in the lives of Thành and his furry friends. In the morning, they embark on a routine journey across the city. And as dusk falls and neon lights start shining in all directions, blurring the lines of objects, their lives melt into one another’s.

Listen to Thành's life story through the video feature below:

Filmed by Anh Nguyen and Alberto Prieto.
Interview done by Anh Nguyen.
Edited by Anh To and G. Huy Nguyen.
Music by Tiny Giant.

Related Articles

in Sports

In a D5 Gym, a Soft-Spoken Muay Thai Legend Trains Future Fighters

I first encountered Muay Thai on a photo assignment in Bangkok a number of years ago, and this graceful, devastatingly lethal martial art has piqued my curiosity ever since. After returning to the Uni...

in Saigon

Saigon Zoo Staff Take Voluntary Pay Cuts to Keep Animals Fed

Difficulties related to COVID-19 have led the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens staff to take voluntary 30% pay cuts so food can be purchased for the animals.

in Culture

[Photos] Tinker Tailor Painter Bike: The Quiet Life of Saigon's Older Residents

In this series of film photos taken by Saigon resident and coffee genius Hoang Trung Hieu, citizens of varying stripes are captured in spontaneous action. Some are working at restaurants, others ...

in Culture

[Video] Sidewalk Barbers: The Very Saigon Comfort of Getting a Haircut on the Street

Sidewalk barbershops are a symbol of old Saigon. In the face of globalization and its demands for westernization, the sight of a simple chair placed beneath an awning where one can get an affordable t...

in Environment

3 Endangered Langurs Were Released Back Into the Wild in Ninh Binh

The trio of critically endangered Delacour's langurs (voọc mông trắng) had been at a conservation center in Cuc Phuong National Park.

in Development

81% of Saigoneers Plan to Use Metro Line 1 When It's Finished, Survey Shows

Do you plan to use the metro lines in these cities?