Pit bulls abused by Koreans to be put to sleep

Leila Salaverria in Manila/Philippine Daily Inquirer
Asia News Network

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - An animal welfare group said it started putting to sleep at least 70 pit bulls rescued from a criminal operation using the animals for dogfights linked to online gambling.

In three separate raids last week, police arrested eight South Koreans reportedly running illegal online gambling in which players bet on dogs fighting at a clandestine compound in Laguna province (south of Manila).

Anna Cabrera, program director of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), said it is not possible to care for about 70 of the some 300 pit bulls that were rescued.

Some of the dogs have ripped ears and tongues from the fights, and she said it would be irresponsible to give away animals that have not properly healed.

Despite the outpouring of sympathy for the rescued canines, not enough help in the form of money or goods has come in, according to Cabrera.

PAWS is a privately run group that gets no funding from the government.

Cabrera said medicines for the abused dogs alone would cost hundreds of thousands of pesos. Besides, she said, PAWS does not have space for all 300 of them.

Some of the dogs rescued in Laguna were the same ones rescued in Cavite in earlier raids. "These dogs went to hell twice," said Cabrera.

And hell was what the dogs suffered. The dogs were chained to stakes driven into the ground, like fighting cocks. They were kept in steel drums. Some just dropped dead from heat stroke.

The dogs were not fed, their ribs showing through their skin. Many suffered terrible wounds -ears cut off or scabs all over their bodies.

PAWS, Cabrera said, doesn't want to run the risk of letting the pit bulls fall into the hands of dogfight operators again.

She said at this point, euthanasia was the most humane option for the dogs. With a report from Associated Press