‘Mass poisoning’ of dogs, cats in south Cebu probed
CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — The local government and police of the City of Naga in southern Cebu have started an investigation into the death of at least 50 dogs and cats inside a private subdivision in Barangay Inoburan last month.
Police Lt. Col. Junnel Caadlawon, chief of the City of Naga Police Station, said they had been gathering evidence to identify the culprits behind the “mass poisoning” of dogs and cats inside Casa Mira South Subdivision since the start of the year.
The police went to Casa Mira on Feb. 1 to investigate after receiving reports from some residents and animal welfare advocates that cats and dogs were dying inside the subdivision and were left to rot.
True enough, at least 50 canine and feline carcasses were recovered in the subdivision’s vacant lots and even just along its road, said Caadlawon.
Caadlawon, who led the police in the inspection, was accompanied by representatives of the animal welfare group Island Rescue Organization and other animal advocates inside the subdivision.
The police official said they were coordinating with the homeowners to secure closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage in the area to look for leads in the investigation.
“The dogs there did not die in just one day. In fact, some of them were already in the state of decomposition. We’re asking owners of CCTVs in the area to help us identify the possible suspect,” Caadlawon said.
On Feb. 4, policemen conducted a cleanup drive around the subdivision to remove traces of the poison that was suspected to have been used to kill the animals and look for other carcasses that could help them in the investigation.
City of Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong on Monday told the Inquirer that the local government was also investigating the alleged poisoning of dogs in the subdivision.
“The probe is led by our city veterinarian, and so far, I have yet to get updates about it,” he said in a phone interview.
Chiong reminded those who wanted to get rid of stray dogs and other animals to coordinate with the city government instead of killing them.
The City of Naga, located 20.5 kilometers south of Cebu City, has its own dog pound where stray dogs are kept and cared for.
Animal rights group earlier planned to file complaints against those behind the killing of dogs and cats in Casa Mira South Subdivision.
Based on the initial investigation, the culprit could have been targeting stray dogs and cats using rat poison.
However, pet owners in the subdivision were alarmed after their own pets also died after walking around the subdivision.
Concerned residents, along with animal advocates, went to the City of Naga Police Station last Feb. 1 to request law enforcers to investigate the matter.
Under Republic Act No. 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 as amended by RA 10631, it is unlawful for any person to maltreat any animal.
Violators face a penalty of two to three years of imprisonment and/or a fine of P25,000 or both at the discretion of the court.