Groups say 100 seized pit bulls sold, given away | Inquirer News
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Groups say 100 seized pit bulls sold, given away

/ 10:47 PM December 15, 2011

SAN PEDRO, Laguna—Animal welfare groups expressed alarm over the turnover to unidentified private owners of more than 100 pit bulls that were seized from an illegal dog fight club in Cavite, saying the dogs are dangerous.

Anna Cabrera, head of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), said the pit bulls, seized from an underground dog fight club in Indang, Cavite, were not ready for adoption as they have yet to undergo rehabilitation.

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“These people didn’t know what they got themselves into. These dogs are gonna kill on sight,” Cabrera said.

Aside from the dogs’ behavior, she also expressed concern over the health of the dogs.

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The Cavite police and non-government Animal Kingdom Foundation busted an illegal dog fight club ran by Koreans, who streamed the fights live on the Internet to generate bets.

During the raid last Dec. 3, authorities recovered 252 pit bulls in cages, but 25 immediately died or were euthanized due to severe injuries from dog fights.

The Cavite veterinary office initially took custody of the animals, although it kept the dogs at the same facility built by the Koreans in Indang until PAWS on Dec. 10 transferred the animals to the welfare’s shelter.

PAWS was shocked at how the dogs were treated under the care of the government veterinary office.

“Two (of PAWS) volunteers (who went to see the dogs before the transfer to PAWS) reported that the pit bulls were not given food or water at all,” said Cabrera.

She said the dogs were in such a bad shape that PAWS had to euthanize some, including one whose tongue was almost ripped off and another whose skin already turned yellowish due to liver failure.

But what was more appalling, Cabrera said, was that most of the dogs had already been adopted. Out of the 227, only 74 were turned over to PAWS.

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“What were they thinking? We could just see exchange of money here,” Cabrera said, adding she got reports that “people were seen lining up (at the facility in Indang) to adopt the pit bulls and some even adopted four dogs at a time.”

The Inquirer tried calling Cavite veterinarian Dr. Dominador Borja several times but he was not available to give his statement. Employees at the provincial veterinary office declined to comment.

Cabrera said she was worried that those who took the pit bulls are simply going to train them for more illegal dog fights.

Cabrera said rehabilitation might take years for fighting dogs to be at least “sociable enough” to new owners. She said she doubts if the pit bulls could still be trained to become “family dogs” because of the emotional and psychological trauma that they suffered.

“Fighting dogs were trained to attack other dogs. When we hear news of a child being attacked by a dog, that’s most likely that the dogs mistook them for rabbits, cats, or small animals,” Cabrera said.

She said the public and the pit bulls were put at risk when the government allowed people to adopt the dogs. “Whoever did this really did a messy job,” she said.

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TAGS: Animals, dog fight, pit bulls
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