Many people have pets in Hoi An, in fact it’s pretty hard not to have them due to the amount of strays in desperate need. Luckily, thanks to the work of two incredible women, there’s some great veterinary care as well as animal shelters. These two started the Vietnam Animal Welfare Organisation (VAWO), a shelter for rescued animals. Now VAWO has branched into two separate organizations: the Hoi An Veterinary Training Clinic and Rescue Shelter run by Catherine Besch and the Vietnam Cat Welfare and Jack’s Cat Café run by Emma Bolton (see below).

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hoi an stray animals, dogs, cats, abuse, shelters hoi an, vietnam
kittens, stray cats, animals, dogs hoi an vietnam

While Hoi An offers a truly idyllic lifestyle, one down side is the pet thieves. Vietnam has always enjoyed dog on its menu, particularly in the North, so stories of pet dogs being stolen for the dog meat trade have not been unusual. However, a recent upsurge in the popularity of cat meat has seen cat thieves audaciously hitting the streets in search for cats as well.


The ‘pet thieves’ don’t care that the animal belongs to someone. They will even watch your house for opportunities to get at your pet. If you have a dog or a cat, you need to be vigilant and make sure your pet is either kept in or closely monitored when out. But, if you have a beloved pet you want to bring to Hoi An, don’t think twice. With caution everything is fine.

hoi an now mascot for tips and pointers


Note:  You might like to check quarantine laws for taking your animal back to your home country though.  Many countries have fairly relaxed laws but Australia, for example, does not.


Hoi An Veterinary Training Clinic and Rescue Shelter

Run by Catherine Besch (co-founder VAWO) and her veterinary surgeon partner, Daniel Stawarski, Hoi An Veterinary Clinic provides international standard veterinary care for animals in Hoi An. The clinic is staffed by Western-trained volunteer vets and veterinary nurses under the guidance of Dr Stawarski.  As a training clinic, it also trains Vietnamese staff and veterinary interns in procedures.


dogs in vietnam, shelters, dog meat trade, cruelty, hoi an

Also under this umbrella is the Rescue Shelter, home to numerous rescued dogs, cats, chickens, ducks – even a pig. The dedication and commitment of these guys is truly humbling.  As well as providing a safe haven for dumped and abused animals and starting a veterinary clinic, Catherine and Daniel campaign tirelessly against  the ‘pet meat’ trade in Vietnam. They also raise awareness on animal care and sterilization.


Caring for so many animals comes at a huge financial cost, so please help if you can.


Donations can be made through until the clinic’s website ( is up and running.


Tel: +84 (0) 935 813 798

Vietnam Cat Welfare

A registered charity in the UK, Vietnam Cat Welfare, is home to around 60 cats (with numbers increasing each month). Run by Emma Bolton and her husband Phong Nguyen, many of the cats have been rescued from the streets. Some were kittens as young as two weeks, starving and sick; others were injured, abused or rescued from cat snatcher traps.  Without their current protection almost all these cats would have fallen prey to cat thieves and met unimaginably barbaric deaths.


Vietnam Cat Welfare also works tirelessly to change attitudes by promoting education programs on sterilization, vaccination and general care for cats and animal rights in Vietnam. They are also indefatigable campaigners against the cat and dog meat trade in Vietnam.


Support them if you can, every small amount counts in the upkeep of the cats and the fight for change. Visit their Donation Page on Facebook.

Da Nang Veterinary Hospital

Dr Hung is an official government vet and runs his own practice. Excellent, clean & professional service (including blood tests & ultrasound). He is also able to micro chip animals and provide all official paperwork for an animal passport.


“His English is good his wife and assistant do not speak English best to message and arrange an appointment with him”  – Kate Gerrard


Tel: +84 (0) 511 3624 038
+84 (0) 905295336

Add: 54 Nguyen Pham st, Danang.

Hito Cafe, Hoi An, black cat

Jack’s Cat Cafe

cat cafe, cat rescue, dog and cat meat trade, animal shelters

Tel: +84 (0) 97 583 25 15

Add:  Le Hong Phong, Hoi An 

Hours: 11am-3pm (5 days, closed Sunday & Mondays)

100,000vnd entrance fee which includes a free drink of your choice

Named after the founder’s first rescued cat, Jack’s Cat Café is a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. Set in one of the most picturesque gardens in Hoi An, Jack’s Cat Café with its many kittens and cats languorously bathing in the sunshine is sure to soothe your spirit and uplift your soul.


Serving drinks, cakes and vegetarian food, the café not only provides excellent refreshments, it assists in raising awareness about animal treatment in Vietnam.


Come along, everything you spend goes towards the rescue and support of kittens and cats.

Jacks Cat Cafe, animal shelter, rescues, dog and cat meat trade, vietnam


In early 2016 a pet store came to Hoi An.  What did we ever do without it!  Here you can buy all manner of things for your pets in Hoi An

Hoi An Pets, Hoi An vets, Hoi An pet shops, Hoi An stray animals
Hoi An Pets, Hoi An vets, Hoi An pet shops, Hoi An stray animals
Hoi An Pets, Hoi An vets, Hoi An pet shops, Hoi An stray animals

Cua Hang Thu Cung:  
Add:  20 Thai Phien Street, Hoi An
Tel:  +84 (0) 916 558 159 (Trang)
Email:  [email protected]

Hoi An Now mascot
You can also buy dog & cat food as well as kitty litter and basic necessities at the following stores:  AP Mart, A-Mart, Bich Thuy

Where to Adopt a Pet

 Both the shelters below have cats and dogs that need adopting; they also need foster carers for their animals.  (You will also find animals that need homes through Da Nang based, Paws for Compassion.
Tel: +84 (0) 90 571 69 37)

Research keywords: bringing pets to Hoi An, vets in Hoi An, stray cats and dogs in Hoi An, dog meat trade…

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