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A rescued pit bull catches drops of water from a volunteer of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society on Tuesday at a coffee farm lot in Laguna province south of Manila.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bullit Marquez / Associated Press

More than 200 pit bulls and other breeds are chained in steel drum cages.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bullit Marquez / Associated Press

A volunteer from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society pets a rescued pit bull.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bullit Marquez / Associated Press

The dogs are seen through the holes of a steel drum.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bullit Marquez / Associated Press

Police officers pet a rescued pit bull.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bullit Marquez / Associated Press

A volunteer with a pit bull.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bullit Marquez / Associated Press

A pit bull catches water from a volunteer.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bullit Marquez / Associated Press

A pit bull sits chained inside a steel drum that serves as its shelter.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bullit Marquez / Associated Press

A volunteer from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society carries the body of a pit bull that died apparently of heat stroke.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bullit Marquez / Associated Press

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From the Associated Press

MANILA — At least nine pit bulls rescued from a dogfighting ring in the Philippines were euthanized Tuesday and dozens more are likely to be because there are no facilities to rehabilitate them and prevent them from reappearing in underground arenas.

About 300 dogs were rescued in raids late Friday in Laguna province south of Manila, said Anna Cabrera of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society. Seventeen with the worst injuries were put down over the weekend, and the health of the remaining dogs and the progress of rehabilitating them will determine how many ultimately survive.

Police arrested eight South Koreans suspected of running an illegal online gambling operation in which players outside the Philippines bet on dogs fighting at a clandestine compound.

Some of the dogs rescued Friday were saved from another facility in Cavite province in December, Cabrera said. She said the dogs were “recycled,” adopted by people who resold them to the suspects to continue fighting.

“That is a fate worse than death,” she said.

Two of the suspects arrested last week had been caught in the December raid but had posted bail, police Chief Inspector Renante Galang said.

Welfare society veterinarian Wilford Almora said many of the pit bulls — purebred and mixed breeds — suffered ripped ears and tongues and other wounds in fights.

He said his group had enough drugs to euthanize 70 dogs, and had put down at least nine Tuesday afternoon with 13 more planned for the day.

He said workers selected the most sick, emaciated and aggressive animals to put down first. Some of the dogs were too weak to stand, he said.

He said they were taking time to carefully assess each dog before deciding which ones to put down.

“We are not in a hurry. We just want to make sure that the ones we put to sleep are the ones that deserve to be put to sleep based on their medical condition,” he said.

Cabrera said it was not possible to care for all the pit bulls and it would be irresponsible to give away for adoption the animals that have not properly healed.

The dogs had been kept in metal fuel drums and tied to heavy steel chains in a 5-acre coffee plantation surrounded by a fence made of corrugated tin in San Pablo city. Police recovered 30 dogs from an arena in the nearby town of Calauan where they were about to fight, Almora said.

The eight suspects face charges of illegal gambling and cruelty to animals.

The San Pablo city prosecutor has not yet completed a preliminary investigation to determine whether evidence is strong enough for a court case. In the meantime, Galang said, police will turn them over to immigration officials.

If convicted of illegal gambling, they face a maximum of 12 years in prison. The charge of animal cruelty carries a penalty of up to two years, but no one has served time in the Philippines for the crime. A student recently found guilty of killing a cat received a few months of community service.

Dogfighting is not common in the Philippines, and the fights were broadcast mostly outside the country.

9 Comments

  1. April 3, 2012, 6:37 pm

    This is so horrifying… There is no reason to put down healthy, non-aggressive dogs. It just breaks my heart…

    By: sarah t
  2. April 3, 2012, 7:44 pm

    Well, there is a reason if the alternative is that they get sold back into fighting again. I think death would be preferable to the misery those dogs were going through. Sad but true (this coming from a true pet lover and dog rescuer).

    By: harrym@yahoo.com
  3. April 3, 2012, 8:21 pm

    I am Korean, and this article straight up makes me feel ashamed to be. Do people honestly find enjoyment from another creature’s suffering? I have a dog, and he is the light of my world. I couldn’t imagine anyone putting an animal through all this pain and suffering. I hope they are all prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    By: Grace
  4. April 3, 2012, 9:15 pm

    I agree with you harrym. I too am an avid dog lover and work with service dogs. When the alternative is a long recovery and possibly going back into fighting–it is more compassionate to put them down. If it makes you feel any better Sarah the dogs don't have any idea of future and won't be sad to give it up. They have the blessing of not knowing and being saved from brutality.

    By: Lawanat@hotmail.com
  5. April 3, 2012, 10:47 pm

    This is much worse & more inhumane than cockfighting. As far as those dangerous dogs are concerned, there must be an alternative to abusing & euthanizing them.

    By: palmstring
  6. April 3, 2012, 11:01 pm

    This is much worse & more inhumane than cockfighting. As far as those dangerous dogs are concerned, there must be a better way than abusing & euthanizing them.

    By: palmstring
  7. April 4, 2012, 5:10 am

    Seandainya aku dari Indonesia mau beli anjingmu apa boleh

    By: Buddy Santoso
  8. April 4, 2012, 6:55 pm

    Can't they be turned over to a rescue, such as the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah that took Michael Vicks' poor dogs? What have these these innocent creatures done to deserve being put to death?

    By: scomurphy@aol.com
  9. April 9, 2012, 12:26 am

    They kill these innocent creatures and they call themselves humane societies! I cannot see why euthanizing these poor creatures is the best way to go about the situation. Shame on PAWS.

    By: maeanne_c@yahoo.com

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