54 dogs rescued in Laguna
CAMP PACIANO RIZAL, Laguna—Police on Thursday rescued 54 dogs in San Pedro, Laguna believed being transported for the illegal trade of dog meat.
According to San Pedro police chief Supt. Kirby Kraft, the native dogs, known locally as “askals” (asong kalye), were found crammed inside two vehicles—a tricycle, driven by Christian Medina and inside a cage onboard a closed L-300 van.
Two other dogs that were found inside the cage were dead, said Kraft.
The police official said Medina, 34, resident of Barangay San Roque, was arrested at around 1 a.m. Thursday in Barangay San Antonio after police and village officials received information that a number of dogs were set to be transported in the area.
He said policemen first found seven dogs in Medina’s tricycle. The dogs, whose snouts were muzzled with plastic straw, were squeezed inside the vehicle’s sidecar with a removable seat used to keep the dogs in.
A few minutes later, police discovered the abandoned van not too far from where the Medina was arrested. Inside the vehicle were 49 other muzzled dogs crammed inside a cage, including the two that were dead, Kraft said.
Kraft said the cage was fitted inside the van replacing the back seat, which had been removed.
“We believe the van was tailing the tricycle. Probably, when the van’s driver saw that the tricycle in front was apprehended, he abandoned his vehicle,” Kraft said.
Medina told police that he was only hired to bring the dogs to Nagcarlan, Laguna. Police, however, believe he is actively involved in the illegal animal trade.
According to Ana Cabrera, executive director of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, dog meat trade remains rampant in the Northern Luzon provinces, as well as in Cavite and Laguna, with the business generating some P1 million annually.
“If the dogs were not properly muzzled, it’s obvious they are to be slaughtered,” Cabrera said.
She said one live dog costs P300 in the underground dog meat market.
Kraft said Medina was charged with violation of the Animal Welfare Act while the dogs were turned over transferred to the custody of the non-government Animal Kingdom Foundation that has a rescue center in Capas, Tarlac.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.