Vietnam Animal Aid and Rescue

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“Humans, please give us a chance to live”… Have you ever wondered how many animals died because of being abused by humans? Have you ever thought about the number of animals are killed by animal testing? Animal cruelty and experiments on animals have been receiving a great deal of mass media attention in recent decades. Although some people are not aware of what other species are facing, there still has an eclectic mix of organizations around the world that exist to protect animals from being neglected. Vietnam Animal Aid and Rescue is an organization located in Vietnam, which was founded by an American woman- Catherine Besch. 

 Vietnam Animal Aid and Rescue( VAAR) advocates for animal rights and encourages people to live a fully vegan lifestyle in order to end the suffering of all species. After the founder recognized that a number of dogs and cats in Vietnam are sold for the meat trade, they began to form a shelter for these piteous domesticated animals. At that time, Catherine found out that the local rescue centers did not have an adequate ability to take care of the abandoned pets properly due to the lack of basic surgical skills as well as insufficient quality drugs and equipment. VAAR started to become an adopted center in 2013, where giving animals an opportunity to enjoy their meaningful life and live a life they deserve. Vietnam Animal Aid and Rescue is currently working on six projects including education, grassroots activism, vegan advocacy, cat and dog meat trade, wildlife trade, animal rescue. 


In many rural areas in Vietnam, kids are accustomed to seeing animals being tortured or abandoned, they see the way their parents treat animals and they mimic it. The most effective method to contest animal rights abuse is by fulfilling the younger generation of Vietnamese kids to value animals’ life, providing them a chance to interact with animals and change their minds. “Children must be taught that a water buffalo, monkey, pig, squid, cat, or dog all have the same desires for living a life free from pain and suffering’-VAAR.

Grassroots activism:

A number of organizations for animals right in Vietnam are managed by young people, who are really enthusiastic but do not have enough knowledge to run an adopted animal shelter and non-profit work. Organizations are usually under pressure  and stuck in financial struggle due to an overwhelming number of rescue cases. Only by providing an intervention from an experienced organization, which can effectively manage animal workshops, can we hope for the organization of Vietnam to move forward and advance its mission.

Vegan advocacy:

Many kinds of animals such as cows, chickens, pigs, and ducks suffer throughout their lives because they are used by humans to satisfy human demands as well as earn profit. This is not the lack of regulation, it is a result of the fact that they are property of humans used for their amusement. In order to fulfill the lack of effective public human and animal health infrastructure in Vietnam, VAAR open a marketing campaign, promote the vegan restaurant and cooking classes in the area to advocate citizens live a vegan life.

Cat and dog meat trade:

Cat and dog meat are very common in the north of Vietnam as many of them were stolen and sold to the meat traders. The lack of government action against pet thieves has made a volatile situation for the owner. VAAR teaches children about animal rights and how to helps them in daily activities. Also, they discourage buying pets from the trade because it continues to give the traders more money and effort.

Wildlife trade:

The meat market of endangered species and other animals is a special problem in Vietnam. Wildlife, however, has a marketing campaign and international support to reduce the high demand of humans. Internation organization combating the wildlife trade together with VAAR, but it is not enough. VAAR frequently spread wildlife trade issues in Vietnam via social media such as their website and Facebook page, so that both locals and tourists are able to identify and react to wildlife crimes.

Animal rescue:

Another common issue in Vietnam is the cruelty and neglect of companion animals. A number of pets are not able to live longer than two or three years without being stolen and dying because of infectious disease. In an effort to cope with the problem of animal neglect in the long term, VAAR decided to address the short term problem such as what to do with the victims of abuse. VAAR now have a rescue shelter and farm sanctuary, their primary purpose is to house dogs and cats when they are waiting for their new home, as well as using it for education programs.

By Nguyen Minh Nhu Huyen, Singapore


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