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In Cambodia, dogs are food. Except here, where they’re the customers.


In Cambodia, dogs are food. Except here, where they’re the customers.

Usually, dogs in Cambodia are on the dinner plate. 

But a new high-end restaurant in Phnom Penh, called Edgar Allan Paw, is serving up gourmet meals for dogs. 

The cafe, which serves both humans and their furry companions, is the only place in Cambodia's capital city where dogs can roam free, off of a leash. 

Owning pets is a relatively new concept in Cambodia, according to cafe owner, Tisha Shelley. 

Animals in Cambodia are generally, they're either food or they are guard dogs.
Tisha Shelley

Some people in the country still eat dog meat, although it doesn't appear on the menu in most restaurants.

It's typically referred to as "special meat" and is served either barbecued or in soups and curries.

But Edgar Allan Paw is serving up gourmet food for dogs just as more and more people are adding pets to their families.  

The homemade food recipes for dogs which include chicken, turmeric and bovine colostrum, quail with chickpeas and kombucha tea. 

It's better than the rice most dogs in Cambodia eat.

Shelley also stocks the cafe with in-house products like beds, collars and doggie t-shirts. 

She partners with an organization in Phnom Penh to produces the fashionable pet products, that are difficult to find elsewhere. 

"My inspiration for opening the business was to really provide not only a place where people could get great product but they could also bring their dogs and socialize, get to know each other, and build a community in Cambodia because unfortunately that just doesn't exist and safe spaces for dogs doesn't exist," Shelley said. 

For dog owner, Steve Hutchins, who is an expat from London, Edgar Allan Paw is the perfect place to take his two beagles. 

"It's a great place to hang out with other people who also have dogs, you know, the dogs can get socialized, have a run around," Hutchins said. 

Shelley says she plans to open at least two more stores in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap next year. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


For more, check out the 60 Second Circa. 

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