I have written in my previous blog post that dogs are very dear to me. I have grew up with a dog always in our household and cannot imagine living without one.
This is the reason why I was so outraged when I saw this picture on Twitter.
I have always said that there are two kinds of people that I really despise, first people who abuses kids and second people who are cruel to animals. Why kids and animals? Because both are powerless to defend themselves (itself) from those who abuse them.
The Animal Welfare Act of the Philippines (1998) states:
SECTION 6: It shall be unlawful for any person to torture any animal, to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat any animal or to subject any dog or horse to dogfights or horsefights, kill or cause or procure to be tortured or deprived of adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat or use the same in research or experiments not expressly authorized by the Committee on Animal Welfare.
But unfortunately, the punishment for people who violates this law is quite light:
SECTION 8: Any person who violates any of the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction by final judgment, be punished by imprisonment of not less than six (6) months nor more than two (2) years or a fine or not less than One thousand pesos (P1,000) nor more that Five thousand pesos (P5,000) or both at the discretion of the Court. If the violation is committed by a juridical person, the officer responsible therefore shall serve the imprisonment when imposed. If the violation is committed by an alien, he or she shall be immediately deported after service of sentence without any further proceedings.
This is the reason why dog meat trading is still rampant here in the Philippines. People who are caught selling dogs for meat can easily pay the penalty and be back in the business in no time.
I was fortunate enough to visit the Animal Kingdom Foundation in Tarlac. They are a foundation that rescues dogs that are meant to be sold for dog meat. I have seen the pictures of dogs that were just rescued from the trucks that transports them from as far as Cavite and Laguna to Baguio. The dogs being rescued are painfully thin. Some are battered and have wounds that are oozing with pus. All the dogs have their mouth wired shut. Yes, metal wire were used to bind the mouths of these dogs. The metal cuts through the skin of the dogs and leaves a bloody gash.
When I first visited the dog sanctuary in 2009, the first thing that caught my attention were the two dogs that greeted me when I go out of the car. I was immediately drawn to one of the dogs and that was King. King is one of the rescued dogs living in Animal Kingdom. When I visited they had roughly 200 dogs in their care. These were dogs rescued from the dog meat raids and abandoned dogs. They also had 3 cats and pot bellied pig named Bacon.