December 6, 2011
As a result of tip offs from concerned citizens and subsequent surveillance, on Friday December 2 2011 a well organised International dog fighting Syndicate was busted in a warehouse operation in Barangay Mahabang Kahoy, Indang town, Cavite province in the Philippines. More than 240 dogs were found in appalling condition by the Philippine National Police and the Animal Kingdom Foundation.
The high tech Syndicate appears to have been operating a website out of South Korea, and several S.Korean Nationals were arrested along with Philippine trainers and dog handlers. Yet this Syndicate will be Regionally and Internationally supported. Look at the flags representing several Nations. Is your National Flag displayed? Dog fight matches were live streamed to the world wide dog fighting communities, with the ability to place bets online. Live streaming dog fights is not new, but busting high tech operations is quite an achievement. But it doesn't end at the local bust. The work now begins.
The arrested suspects, which include the Filipino caretakers and South Korean technical organisers, will face charges for violating Sec. 6 of Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998. It's obvious to me that there will be strong links to financially well heeled Dogmen from who knows where. This operation in Cavite didn't operate without a great deal of financial investment. It's essential that the Authorities see this investigation through ... accessing computer records, paperwork, APBT pedigrees and so on.
The dogs are currently in the care of the Cavite Provincial Vet for the Bureau of Animal Industry. There appears to be overwhelming support for the destruction of the dogs and limited knowledge of how to proceed in order to truly do them justice and keep them safe from further harm. Already a large Philippine animal welfare organisation charged with documenting the raid, has been comfortable to allow dogs to be adopted without formal temperament assessment and adopter screening, with support of the National Authorities. On the other hand these same groups of people are suggesting that all the dogs should be killed. At not one turn so far is the long term welfare of the dogs being considered.
However, there are experienced and knowledgeable individuals and organisations who are making plans to travel to Cavite to assess and evaluate the dogs individually next week. We all know that there will be a number of these dogs who are physically and emotionally capable of being saved, and integrated into a normal life. The one they deserved all along.
A National Committee is swinging into action in the Philippines for these special dogs, to ensure they are kept safe from further harm by humans. I will share more as information on actions are developed. They will need our support and our ability to share their news ... to raise awareness that more than 240 dogs have just been saved from International dog fighting torture, to ensure that the investigations are kept alive, and to raise funds for food, medicines, and provisions to care for these dogs. Simply to ensure that these dogs will not suffer at the hands of humans any longer.
UPDATE December 18, 2011
The raid and aftermath has been a disaster. Rather than write too much here for Crusaders and Warriors, I will post some media reports and blogs. I have worked closely with Renee and Matt on their blog posts.
The issues are currently on two fronts.
1. The almighty screw up. Basically the Philippine National Police, the Cavite Provincial Veterinary Office, and Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF) allowed most of these dogs to be adopted (which may translate as sold!) direct from the crime scene starting immediately following the raid. Anyone walking in off the street was able to “adopt”.
Not only that, but the dogs held at the site were not provided with any food or water, never mind veterinary care, until the real animal rescuers understood what had been going on, and arrived to the scene on Thursday December 8th. When they arrived, there were 74 dogs left at the site! AKF abandoned these dogs, and you will see from here the attitude of AKF’s British Founder and Director is dubious http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2070197/On-Death-Row-The-poor-hounds-facing-execution-captured-dog-fighting-gang-film-fights-Philippines-screen-worldwide.html The press he gave was simply a pack of lies.Of course there is a high probability that many of the “adopted” (missing!) dogs will be recycled and sent back into the pit. The integrity of the ongoing Police investigation may require scrutiny and pressure from us all. This was the biggest dog fighting bust on record in South East Asia, and of International proportions. Links below
2. The long term medical treatment, welfare, assessment and rehabilitation of the dogs removed to temporary safety over December 9th & 10th. 69 dogs were transferred to Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Rehab Centre only as a matter of urgency for their safety. Sadly, one of the 69 died today, unable to recover from her injuries. PAWS has requested the dogs be removed from their care by December 22nd! The responsibility for the dogs has fallen to a very small animal rescue group called Island Rescue Organisation (IRO), based in Cebu. They’re affiliated with Friends for the Protection of Animals, a U.S registered 501c organisation. For caring people and supporters overseas, donating money is a valuable way of directly helping the dogs. IRO will not be able to raise the sorts of funds needed in the Philippines alone, largely a Third World Nation. IRO are knowledgeable and experienced with Pitbulls and behavioural assessment and rehabilitation. As you might imagine, they are not currently equipped to provide shelter for 68 dogs. They actually need to build suitable shelter, and quickly. Here is the link for people to donate. It’s URGENT. http://friendsfortheprotectionofanimals.chipin.com/care-and-rehabilitation-of-240-pitbulls-seized-in-cavite-dog-fighting-raidere
On a positive note, this company http://ampropet.trustpass.alibaba.com/aboutus.html has committed to donating all dog food requirements for the Cavite pitbulls while they are in the care of IRO! On the ground, volunteers with a range of skills are being called for URGENTLY.