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The 4-month-old puppy cowered within a metal cage as she saw a butcher cruelly murder dog after dog for their meat. The dogs howled in agony, and Sanie’s skin shivered as she watched. It would be her time any minute now. But then something happened that changed the course of her life.
Michael Chour, the creator of The Sound of Animals, a nonprofit that rescues dogs from the Southeast Asian meat trade, went to the slaughterhouse in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where Sanie and two other dogs were confined.
Chour tried to persuade the owner to give him all three dogs, assuring him it would bring him good karma. However, the owner refused to surrender two of the dogs, claiming that they had already been sold. He did, however, inform Chour that he may take Sanie with him.
Chour saw Sanie’s fear and crawled inside the cage with her to earn her trust.
Chour told The Dodo, “She was snarling and shaking.” “However, I made her sniff my hand and approached her carefully.”
Sanie froze when Chour softly stroked her head, perhaps wondering if he was about to murder her. But Chour was a patient man. He talked softly and soothingly to her, assuring her that she was secure — and Sanie appeared to comprehend. She let Chour pull her into his arms as he placed his hand beneath her tummy.
“She was still afraid when I came out of the cage, and she was staring at the butcher,” Chour recalled. “However, as I turned my back on him, she pressed herself against me and buried her head beneath mine.”
Sanie wanted to be as close to Chour as possible from then on.
“She embraced me nonstop,” Chour added. “She wouldn’t let go even when I took her to the vet facility and attempted to put her on the floor.”
Chour believes Sanie had a home in Cambodia before being taken from her family’s land and sold to the slaughterhouse. While Chour believes it is unlikely that Sanie’s original owner can be found, he has promised Sanie that he will keep her safe and find her a new home.
“She knows I saved her and she feels my affection,” Chour explained. “Dogs are intelligent and comprehend what is going on.”
After being examined by a veterinarian, Chour returned Sanie to his group’s shelter, Blue Dream, where he would meet other dogs rescued from the meat trade.
“I have a pal named Bear for her there,” Chour said. “He, too, is a slaughterhouse rescue, and he will teach her to love and trust.”
Chour hopes that Sanie will someday be adopted by a European family. “We recently shipped two dogs to England, and they’re living in heaven now,” he explained. “Their lives are really pleasant.”
Sanie is safe, but Chour plans to continue rescue dogs from the meat trade. Chour resides in Thailand, but he frequently visits to Cambodia to aid dogs.
“I was in Cambodia for five days to watch and attempt to show the world what is going on,” Chour explained. “I was just depressed on the way back.” But Sanie has given me the strength to battle on.”