Pit bulls in Laguna dog fights to be put down

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A chained pit bull peers from a drum which serves as its dog house at San Pablo City, Laguna province on Saturday. Philippine police have raided a dog-fighting facility and arrested two South Korean men suspected of operating it and rescued around 300 pit bulls. AP/Philippine Animal Welfare Society

MANILA, Philippines—Dozens of pit bulls rescued from a dogfighting ring in the Philippines will be put down starting Tuesday by animal welfare activists who say there are no facilities to rehabilitate them and prevent them from again being used in underground arenas.

In three separate raids late Friday, police arrested eight South Koreans suspected of running illegal online gambling operations in which players outside the Philippines bet on dogs fighting at a clandestine compound south of Manila in Laguna province.

Some of the roughly 300 dogs rescued Friday had been rescued from a similar facility in nearby Cavite province in December, said activist Anna Cabrera of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society. She said the dogs were “recycled” — adopted by people who sold them back to the suspects to continue fighting.

“That is a fate worse than death,” she said.

Two of the suspects arrested last week had been apprehended in the December raid but had posted bail, police Chief Inspector Renante Galang said.

Welfare society veterinarian Wilford Almora said many of the pit bulls — purebred and mixed breeds — suffered horrible wounds, including ripped ears and tongues, in previous fights.

He said his group had enough euthanasia drugs to put down 70 dogs, and selected more than a dozen among the most sick, emaciated and aggressive animals to put down first. Some of the dogs were too weak to stand, he said.

Cabrera said it was not possible to care for all the pit bulls that were rescued and it would be irresponsible to give away for adoption the animals that have not properly healed. She said 17 of the most severely injured dogs were put to sleep immediately following Friday’s raid.

More dogs could be euthanized later, depending on how they respond as caretakers try to rehabilitate them.

The dogs had been kept in metal fuel drums and tied to heavy steel chains inside a two-hectare (5-acre) coffee plantation surrounded by a fence made of corrugated tin in San Pablo City in Laguna. Police recovered 30 dogs from an arena in the nearby town of Calauan where they were about to fight, Almora said.

The eight suspects face charges of illegal gambling and cruelty to animals.

The San Pablo city prosecutor has not yet completed a preliminary investigation to determine if evidence is strong enough for a court case. In the meantime, Galang said police will turn them over to immigration officials.

If convicted of illegal gambling, they face a maximum of 12 years in prison. The charge of animal cruelty carries a penalty of up to two years, but no one has served time in the Philippines for the crime. A student recently found guilty of killing a cat received a few months of community service.

Dogfighting is not common in the Philippines and the fights were broadcast mostly outside the country.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pinoy-Tagabantay/100003444028163 Pinoy Tagabantay

    Tama si impending_raptor.., dapat ipa la_pa yang mga wlang awa sa aso yang mga Koreano na yan…, ng matikman nila ang sakit at lupit na ginagawa nila..at sila naman mag mistulang aso.

  • malek_abdul

    Dapat ang isalang sa euthanasia ay mga koreanong involved sa ilegal na dog fighting. In another article it says, the PAWS needs P3.4 million pesos to sustain and care for these poor pit bulls. I suggest to take that money from the operators of this illegal online gambing game. These dogs have the right to be cured and live comfortably. Allahu Akbar!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SGC2JDPC5ZP4LM22LLX4KTLPVA red

    Dami sa kababayan natin .nag  aabuso ng animals.kinakatay aso din….I hate people hurting animals

  • MahalinAngInangBayan

    To the Inquirer Moderator:

    May I know on what grounds did you disapprove my comment? Is advocating animal welfare inconsistent with your editorial standards?           

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