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Philippines: 6 Korean nationals held over dog fight; 227 pitbulls rescued
6 Korean nationals held over dog fight; 227 pitbulls rescued
By Maricar Cinco Inquirer Southern Luzon
8:38 pm | Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna, Philippines —Authorities charged six Korean nationals with cruelty against animals and illegal gambling for operating an underground dog fight club.
Police said that in the fight club, pitbulls were pitted against each other in a fight lasting 3-5 minutes while patrons placed bets worth hundreds of thousands to a million Korean won. The fights were being streamed live on the Internet.
Senior Supt. John Bulalacao, Cavite police director, said the Koreans’ identities and tourist visas were being investigated by the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation after their arrest in a raid during an ongoing dog fight in a clandestine arena in Barangay Mahabang Kahoy in Indang, Cavite on December 3.
They were identified as Kim Jeong Py, 40; Kim Su Jeong, 27; Kim Sang Syun, 28; Kang Jun Ho, 28; Lee Han Gu, 33; and Kim Min, 31.
During the raid, authorities were able to rescue 252 fighting pitbulls in cages but the Cavite veterinary office on Tuesday decided on “mercy killing” (euthanasia) 25 dogs that were already very ill and badly injured from the fights.
Their carc$#@! would be buried in an animal cemetery in Capas, Tarlac, while the remaining 227 pitbulls were turned over to the custody of the Animal Kingdom Foundation for rehabilitation.
Supt. Romeo Baleros, chief of the Cavite police intelligence branch that led the raid, said police acted on a tip of a resident, who complained about the dogs’ barking and howling from the warehouse compound almost every night.
The warehouse, about 100 meters from the closest residential community and surrounded by high concrete walls, was placed under police surveillance until its Filipino caretakers confirmed to authorities that it was housing an animal fight club.
“Two dogs are pitted against each other and the winning dog in the first round fights another dog for a second match,” Baleros said.
Quoting accounts of the caretakers, Baleros said the Koreans rented the warehouse and started bringing in pitbulls by batches sometime in October.
The foreigners hired 17 Filipino caretakers and rented an apartment for themselves in Tagaytay City.
“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.
Lawyer Heidi Caguioa, legal officer of the Animal Kingdom Foundation, said the dogs were in bad shape and showed physical injuries when found by authorities.
She said they have not confirmed if the dogs were locally bred, although they received information that the animals were supplied to the Korean operators.
She said dog fights mostly backed by foreigners were rampant in Luzon, but it was their first time to bust an operation which had an international online market.
Caguioa said based on records, patrons placed bets worth a hundred thousand to a million Korean won on the fighting dogs.
“It is very hard to trace the operators because they work surreptitiously. The foreigners are using Filipinos (to operate the fight clubs) and it’s just not nice if we condone this,” she said.
The Koreans were held at the office of the police intelligence unit in Trece Martires City in Cavite. If convicted, the foreigners could face imprisonment of not more than two years.
In May 2006, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on pitbulls battling liked gladiators in a plywood-boxed arena in a $#@!pit somewhere in Camarines Sur. Unlike in a $#@!fight where the two $#@!s are armed with blades attached to their spurs to maim or kill, the dogs use “jaw power to lock the neck or throat of their opponents, grab the testicles or break their legs,” according to the report. (source: “Pit bulls bred for fighting in Camarines Sur by Juan Escandor Jr., May 11, 2006).
Pit bulls' caretaker describes busted dogfighting routine in Cavite
A fighting dog's life: Pit bulls' caretaker describes busted dogfighting routine in Cavite
07-Dec-11, 3:41 PM | Bernard Testa,
Police recently raided a massive dogfighting operation in Indang, Cavite, run by South Korean nationals. Around 240 pit bulls were rescued in the operation. In this multimedia feature, a Filipino employee in the busted dogfighting ring speaks with Bernard Testa of InterAksyon.com, and explains how their clandestine fights and gambling operations were run - and how the dogs were abused in the process.
Of the 240 dogs rescued, five have since been put down, after being deemed beyond rehabilitation. Trained to fight "from Day One", they may pose a threat to the larger community, and would be beyond the capability of normal households to keep as pets. The rest of the dogs, however, may yet be rehabilitated, and veterinarians of a local animal welfare society believe they may ultimately be viable for adoption.
A fighting dog's life: Pit bulls' caretaker describes busted dogfighting routine in Cavite - InterAksyon.com
The poor hounds facing execution after captured of dog-fighting gang who film fights
On Death Row: The poor hounds facing execution after captured of dog-fighting gang who film fights in Philippines to screen worldwide
By Leon Watson Last updated at 7:48 AM on 7th December 2011
Investigators from a UK-based charity have exposed an horrific world-wide internet dog-fighting racket.
They have discovered hundreds of ferocious fighting dogs in a building in the Philippines so dangerous they may all have to be put down.
The dogs were used in televised fights which were beamed via the internet to the U.S., Europe and around the world as part of an international betting operation.
Caged dogs in an alleged dog fighting warehouse in Indang town of Cavite province in the south of Manila, Philippines
The animals were discovered at Indang town in Cavite province, just south of Manila.
The premises were equipped with banks of webcams and computers to enable the vicious fights to be streamed across the internet.
The Kent-based charity International Wildlife Coalition Trust pays for staff in the Philippines to rescue dogs bound for the meat trade.
Dog meat is seen as a delicacy in some parts of the country.
Charity founder and chief executive Charles Wartenberg, from Edenbridge, Kent, said: 'Our staff work very closely with the police and they accompanied them after a tip-off on what they thought was a raid to uncover illegal dog meat trade.
'Instead to their horror they found a massive undercover dog-fighting operation. The scale of it is appalling.
Six South Koreans and 17 Filipinos were arrested while 240 pitbulls were rescued during a raid
Caged: The dogs were bred to be killers and now face being put down
'There are 244 American pit bull terriers which appear to have been bred purely for fighting. They are so ferocious that they are kept in separate cages otherwise they would attempt to kill other dogs.
'There are even screens so they cannot see the other dogs and attempt to break out and attack them.
'Our staff are used to some horrific scenes but they could not believe their eyes.
Arrested: Suspected members of the international dog fighting gang were quizzed by police after the raid
'The current problem is that the dogs are so dangerous our people just cannot handle them without fear of serious injury. If we took them to our animal shelter they would just attack other dogs.
'I think all 240 will have to be put down but the next problem is how you sedate them without being attacked.'
Police and investigators found many dead and badly injured dogs at the premises.
Mr Wartenberg founded the UK charity nine years ago after hearing of the illegal meat trade.
It operates in the Far East as Animal Kingdom Foundation and employs 17 staff in the Philippines including 4 special investigators. The charity has since rescued hundreds of animals.
He said: 'It appears to be connected with a huge international betting operation.'
Six South Koreans have been arrested for allegedly operating the dog-fighting syndicate.
Seventeen Filipino dog keepers were also arrested in the raid at the weekend.
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