Pit Bull Fighting Ring Busted in Philippines

April 3, 2012  

By Michael Mountain

(Photo by the Philippine Animal Welfare Society)

A massive dog-fighting ring in the Philippines has been busted by police, assisted by the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).

Three hundred pit bulls were rescued. Twenty of them were euthanized on account of their injuries. Veterinarian Wilford Almora said many of the dogs have wounds to the head, ears and snout, along with ripped ears and tongues and multiple scars. Most of the bite wounds were on the forehead, ears and snout, he said.

Initial reports were that two South Korean nationals and several Filipinos were arrested in the Friday raid at a farm in San Pablo, just south of the capital Manila. The two South Koreans were the same men who had been let out on bail after being arrested in December at another fighting/breeding facility where 240 dogs were rescued.

Later reports said that eight South Koreans had now been arrested and that police were seeking their deportation.

Local reports said the whole ring was being operated by a South Korean syndicate.

“This appears to be a large operation and these South Koreans need to be punished,” PAWS program director Anna Cabrera said. She added that metal fuel drums served as individual shelters for the dogs, who were held by heavy steel chains.

The maximum penalty for those found guilty of animal cruelty is two years in jail, but suspects can go free on bail as the often-lengthy legal process continues.

“Too many animals have already suffered, and criminals are becoming bolder, taking only two months after arrest to get back into their illegal operations once they have posted bail,” Cabrera said.

Update, April 2, 2012

It’s unlikely that many of the 300 pit bulls rescued from a dog-fighting ring in the Philippines will be saved.

According to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), finding them homes is a tricky proposition.

That’s because the people from PAWS quickly recognized several of the dogs they’d just rescued. They’d already rescued them once before when they busted another fighting ring last December. In other words, the homes they’d deemed suitable for adoption just sold the dogs back to the men who were arrested at that time and were then let out on bail. So the dogs ended right back where they’d come from.

“That is a fate worse than death,” said Anna Cabrera of PAWS.

PAWS veterinarian Wilford Almora is now doing triage on the dogs. Those too sick even to stand will be put down first. (He said he has enough of the drug to euthanize 70 dogs.) Those in the best shape will be given every chance for a good home. And the ones in the middle … well, that’s yet to be seen.

“We are not in a hurry,” Dr. Almora told the Associated Press. “We just want to make sure that the ones we put to sleep are the ones that deserve to be put to sleep based on their medical condition.”

Animal cruelty in the Philippines carries a maximum sentence of two years, although no one has ever served that sentence. But if the men are convicted of illegal gambling, they could face 12 years in prison.

Dogfighting is not, in fact, very common in the Philippines. The fights were broadcast mostly outside the country.

Much more common in the Philippines is cockfighting, which is practically a national sport.

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Comments

5 Responses to “Pit Bull Fighting Ring Busted in Philippines”
  1. This is disgusting and pisses me off.  No one thinks about these dogs and agony and pain their in when they’re force to fight for their lives.  Yet once again no one focuses on the folks that commit these horrific crimes against these dogs, its the dog faults.  I want to scream right now…so frustrated

    • StubbyDog says:

      [email protected] We share in your frustration. At least these dogs are safe now.

  2. AmyTeal says:

    How sad that some of them were saved just to be sold back to the a*sholes that fought them, I will never understand how people can live with themselves allowing a defenseless dog to be brutalized.

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