Police operatives assisted by an animal rights group have busted a dog-fighting syndicate operating in San Pablo City, south of Metro Manila Sunday. Rescued were about 300 pit bulls in a two-hectare farm reportedly operated by South Koreans.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), an animal rights group, reported many of the rescued dogs were severely injured with some showing ripped ears and tongues.
Two South Koreans and some Filipinos were arrested in the raid, according to PAWS.
“This appears to be a large operation and these South Koreans need to be punished,” PAWS program director Anna Cabrera said.
It appears the same South Korean group figured in another raid made earlier in the nearby location where about 240 dogs were also rescued.
Chief Inspector Renante Galang, of the Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), confirmed the same group was behind the illegal dogfight.
"We received information that while they were out on bail they moved and set up another gaming facility in Laguna," Galang said in a telephone interview on Saturday.
“Too many animals have already suffered, and criminals are becoming bolder, taking only two months after arrest to get back into their illegal operations once they have posted bail,” the group said as it urged tougher laws to protect animals.
The syndicates reportedly use the dogs for an online dogfight broadcast where the audience bet on their winning choices.
Last year Philippine authorities have arrested and charge at least six South Koreans with illegal gambling for operating an illegal dogfight and for cruelty to animals.
According to Supt. Romeo Baleros, chief of the Cavite police intelligence branch, the captive dogs were made to fight each other and broadcast online.
“Two dogs are pitted against each other and the winning dog in the first round fights another dog for a second match,” Baleros said.
“The caretakers said they did not know where the dogs came from as they were only asked to clean the cages, feed, and inject the animals with some sort of drugs that made the animals fiercer,” Baleros said.
According to Philippine Animal Welfare Act, offenders face a penalty of P5,000.00 or six months to two years imprisonment. But most often, they are set free after posting the required bail.