reposted from http://network.bestfriends.org/initiatives/pitbulls/17955/news.aspx
On December 2, 2011, in Cavite, one of the provinces of the Philippines, south of Manila, authorities seized 246 pitbull terriers who were being kept on a premises in horrible conditions by a South Korean dogfighting ring.
The group Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF) went with the police to break up the dogfighting ring and arrest the ring leaders. Then AKF provided funding for the upkeep of the dogs and to pay the two employees who were feeding the animals.
Rescue gets rocky
Somehow things then went drastically wrong. The PAWS shelter vet, Dr. Wil, when he went a couple of days ago to see the situation of the dogs for himself was shocked to find that most of the dogs were gone! He was told that most of them had been “adopted out.”
Clearly, dogs who’ve been abused, neglected, and used for fighting need a very long time of rehabilitation. Letting the general public “adopt” them means they might simply fall into the wrong hands and be used to fight all over again. In any case, having never known any human kindness, affection, or proper socialization, dogs like this can’t simply go straight into family homes. So, the discovery that most of the dogs were missing was alarming.
On top of this, the dogs weren’t being given food or water. Very sadly, two of the dogs had already died, and several others were suffering from severe dehydration.
As soon as this dreadful situation became known, several of the Philippines animal groups pulled together to come up with a plan. There were around 70 surviving dogs on the premises. They all needed to be evacuated right away so they could receive proper care and be saved from further suffering.
Groups work together
Like all shelters everywhere, those in the Philippines are nearly always full. Nonetheless, it was decided that the only viable option was to transport all of the dogs to the PAWS shelter. PAWS was not only the nearest shelter, but they also had extensive sheltering experience and were the best set up to care for the dogs.
Nena Hernandez of Island Rescue Organization, Inc. (IRO), who’s had experience with pit bull terriers, establishing a pit bull terrier rescue center in California and with rescuing pit bull terriers in general in the United States, flew, at the request of PAWS and AKF, from Cebu to Manila to see firsthand the appalling conditions the dogs had been living in.
The Philippine groups Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA), PAWS, IRO, and AKF have all been working together to rescue the dogs.
The dogs had to be taken in small, secure, iron cages — which were not really ideal, but there wasn’t any alternative if their lives were to be saved. After transport to PAWS, the dogs would be in a safe place, where they could be given much-needed vet care, food, water — and could be moved, as soon as feasible, out of the cages and into better housing — and could then begin the long process of rehabilitation.
Maria Parsons, an independent rescuer, joined Nina Hernandez in coordinating the transfer of the dogs to PAWS.
Thirty two of the dogs were moved on the first trip, and on Friday, December 10, early in the afternoon, all the rest of the dogs were also moved.
Anna Hashim-Cabrera and her colleagues at PAWS have a reputation for accepting challenges that would be daunting to anyone else. A few years ago, they led a highly effective campaign that halted plans to launch greyhound racing in the Philippines — a campaign that seemed impossible when it first began.
Caring for these 69 badly abused pit bull terriers isn’t going to be easy though. A lot of funding will be needed to get them into better accommodations, for extra staffing, and for all the food that 69 hungry dogs will need, not to mention the ongoing care for all the other animals already filling a busy shelter. The road ahead will be very long for these dogs to recover, and they’ll need a lot of dedicated help and support.
Thanks to the people of PAWS and the other Philippine groups who have bravely stepped up to save these animals, refusing to leave them without the help they need.
How you can help!
To read more about PAWS or to donate through PayPal to help these dogs, click on this link: SUPPORT PAWS. (You may indicate "for pit bull rescue" when sending a donation.)
To see photos of the dogs, in their original premises, before they were moved, click PHOTO GALLERY RESCUED CAVITE PITBULLS