Rescued pitbulls are okay but need help

The pitbulls rescued from a Korean dogfighting syndicate in Laguna in March are doing well, but the groups taking care of them need more help.

Shiela Lloren of Island Rescue Organization told Yahoo! Southeast Asia that the dogs "are doing good but we are still running out of funds for their food and medical help."

IRO has been taking care of 174 dogs at their site in Batangas. "They were transferred from San Pablo first week of May after we got the custody from the Judge presiding the case against the Koreans. We still have a lot of sick dogs that need medical assistance."

She said people have been donating dog food and that they are still trying to get hold of private donations.

On June 14, she posted on Facebook saying: "We are running out of dog food for the Laguna pit bulls! Please help us by sharing this poster in your network! Any type of dog food, any form of donation will be highly appreciated."

Compassion and Responsibility for Animals Welfare Philippines, which has also been taking care of rescued pitbulls, also accepts donations for the dogs.

No Adoptions Yet

Lloren said the dogs cannot be adopted out yet since they are still undergoing rehabilitation. "We still need funding to run a blood test for them and heartworm testing. Until they are cleared physically, we cannot adopt them out yet as they also need to undergo socialization and mental rehabilitation," she said.

In response to the existence of dogfighting syndicates--authorities raided a similar operation Bulacan in December 2011--Senator Gregorio Honasan II has filed a bill imposing stiffer penalties on animal abuse.

His bill seeks to amend the Animal Welfare Act of 1998. He said that despite the law, "reports reveal a high incidence of cruelty to animals."

Under his proposed law, the penalty for cruelty to animals will be raised to imprisonment from four years to six years and a fine of P30,000. The current law imposes a penalty of six months to two years in prison and a fine of from P1,000 to P5,000."

It also specifies a higher penalty for "subjecting any dog or horse to dogfights or horsefights." The penalty for that will be from six years to eight years in prison or a fine of P50,000.

Foreigners who engage in cruelty to animals will also be deported after serving their sentence.

"Animal cruelty is a repulsive act against some of the most vulnerable members of society," Honasan said in the explanatory note of his bill.

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