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Cebu. Animal Cruelty. Stray Dogs Lynched and Gassed. Greyhound Racing.

As some of you know, there is a great legislative battle in the Philippine senate over two bills that proposes to make greyhound racing legal and operational in the city of Mandaeu on the island of Cebu. These two bills ( 5291Cebu and 5648 Luzon ) have already passed through the lower house, and it is up to the senate to defeat them. Thank goodness that at least half of the twenty-three senators have already pledged to oppose these bills for the obvious reasons of extreme animal cruelty and an aversion towards another form of gambling where the poor will get poorer while the entrepreneurs get richer.

The proponents of these bills, namely Representatives Ben-hur L. Salimbangon (Cebu), Nerissa Corazon Soon-Ruiz (Cebu), Ferjenel Biron (Iloilo), have come up with the most naive arguments for greyhound racing. They argued that no blood is spilled in greyhound racing and therefore it isn't cruel. They stressed that active dogs will be cared for while retired dogs will be turned into police dogs. As for unwanted dogs, they will be shipped back to Australia where they came from. And if all else fails, surely the dogs be adopted by the public. Perhaps, in a perfect world, these options will work out just fine but we don't live in one. They must think that the Filipino public is as dumb as they are.

Here is an article that described the day to day cruelty that exists in Cebu particularly towards stray dogs. Remember, this is the place where greyhound racing is intended to operate. You can read Mr. Jerry Tundag's eyewitness acount here :

Cruelty to dogs continue in "world class" city
TO THE QUICK By Jerry Tundag (The Freeman)
Updated July 20, 2009 12:00 AM

At about 4:15 very early in the morning of last Friday, July 17, as I was bringing the wife and kid to the pier to take the first trip of the Supercat for an unplanned trip to Leyte, we passed by a most gut-wrenching sight along Happy Valley road in Cebu City.

Three men were dragging a stray dog they had caught with a length of wire. The poor dog was twisting and struggling in the air because the men had raised the wire so that its feet no longer touched the ground.

The entire length of the tongue of the dog was flailing outside its mouth but I doubt if the poor animal managed to make a sound because the noose was clearly drawn very tight and was eating into the hide around its neck, effectively strangling and depriving it of breath.

As the dog struggled vainly to break free, jets of shit and urine burst from its orifices and I did not know if its was from the physical struggle for life or from its sheer terror and emotional distress.

In the back of my car, my nine-year-old daughter was screaming at the sight, horrified by what the men were doing to the dog. I did not know if she was crying, but I can sense the terror and the trauma in her voice.

I hurriedly left the scene because I did not want my daughter to see any more of this godforsaken atrocity committed by those three grownup men. As I passed by their vehicle, I saw that it was a Multicab owned by the Cebu City government by the logo on yellow background.

I was not able to see the plate number of the vehicle, though, because of my haste in wanting to flee the scene of such horror. Finally I was able to see with my own eyes what I saw only in previously published newspaper photographs.

A few months back, a similar scene was caught by camera and published in the newspaper. Based on what I saw from the published photo, I wrote a piece objecting to the manner in which stray dogs were being caught, using pieces of steel wire.

I also recalled previously published stories about how dogs caught by the Cebu City pound were being disposed of in case their owners did not show up to claim them. The hapless dogs were gassed to death using toxic fumes from the exhaust pipes of motor vehicles.

An official of Cebu City whom I believe happens to be directly responsible for the city pound wrote a rejoinder completely denying everything I wrote at the time. I was aghast at the denial, as if photographs would lie.

But God works in mysterious ways and the truth will always come out. No very long after that official vehemently denied the cruel manner in which the city pound was carrying out its campaign against stray dogs, it was placed on the spot by foreign animal rights advocates.

The foreign animal rights advocates happened to be in Cebu City at the time and made their own observations and drew their own conclusions. Among its findings — the stray dogs were being caught and disposed of cruelly and not in accordance with proper standards.

The official who issued the strong denial was compelled to own the shortcomings and promised to reform and change its methods. That was several months ago. Judging from what I saw with my own eyes last Friday dawn, no changes were ever made.

I would like to invite any and all animal rights advocates to come and visit our city, which is also known as the Queen City of the South, and visit our city pound to see for themselves, talk to the people around, and draw their own conclusions.

Of course, it may be that by the time they arrive, some changes shall have been made, in which case it is all for the better. But they must come, because it appears local officials who even drive non-Cebu City patients out of the city hospital, couldn’t care less for dogs.

By the way, this piece is not intended as an opposition to the city ordinance on stray dogs nor as an effort to interfere with the work of the city pound. I am just complaining about the cruel way in which the city pound carries out its responsibilities.


i knew i should have not read this article. this is going to be another one of those that i won't be able to erase in my mind. i e-mailed Dr. Alice Utlang of the Cebu Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries and linked this blogsite so she can read this article. i wonder if the cebu pound is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries. this is horrific. we are fighting an uphill battle against these monsters and they are getting worst and worst. this is when the animals need our resolve, but at this point i don't know what to do to help alleviate the suffering of too many dogs in the hands of these monsters.
Chessbuff said…
Beth, I know the trepidation when confronted with a news article, a video, or a blog entry that will surely describe or depict a case of horrifc animal cruelty. But I must read or watch in order to acknowledge the suffering of animals.

Barangay officials, city officials, dog pound employees can be the worse animal abusers when they should be point men for the humane treatment of animals. The gassing of dogs at the pound is the general practice because it is cheaper than the needle. And gassing means using the exhaust fumes from motor vehicles. This is all so barbaric, isn't it?

Power and authority are misplaced in government officials who have no compassion for animals. We need compassionate people in government because that's where meaningful changes can be made. Some of our senators are openly animal friendly like Zubiri, Pia Cayetano, and Jamby Madrigal. Madrigal is running for the presidency in 2010 And whatever her politics and faults are, I hope she wins because she's one person on the animal welfare side.
Breaker said…
I do agree there was cruelty based on the writer's description of the method the poor dog was caught or impounded. As an animal welfare advocate I also would like to stress the failure of witnesses to address immediately a cruel act. These people do not even do anything to stop cruelty while it is happening. Let us not readily blame others who are "in-charge" of implementing or enforcing the animal welfare act. Let us all do our share in making sure that all animals are treated with compassion and respect. Animal welfare is EVERYONES responsibility. I would also like to add that one person's action does not represent the entire office or organization's idealogy. I know of several animal welfare "people" who have actually violated the law.
Chessbuff said…
Breaker, thank you for commenting. You made good points.

Another thing I can add is that the writer could have set a good example to his daughter by personally taking charge of the situation. You are so right. Animal welfare is everybody's responsibility.
Anonymous said…
Why didn't you stop the car, yell at those men, "Stop!!! That's my dog!" And take the poor dog home with you! All that's necessary for evil to triumph is for good man to do nothing! This is exactly what Jesus was talking about when he said every passerby just go about their business while a beaten man lay by the street. But on the case of this poor poor soul no Samaritan came by! Human being is trully the most cruel creation!
tee said…
most filipinos should not be allowed have dogs as they dont know how 2 look after them.its one of two ways let them run loose or chain it 2 a wall till it goes nuts and barks all day.laws should be put in place 2 stop this happening i live in cebu and would do it for free along with many other people i know.the city is packed full of stray dogs riddled with dog pound is a joke by an standards.
jerry tundag said…
to breaker, chessbuff and grace. i can appreciate the fact that your love for animals forced you to focus on what was happening to the animal and what i should have done. if only you tried to read more carefully, you would have realized the choices i had right at the very beginning of the article -- i was on the way to catch a trip for an unscheduled trip to leyte, unscheduled meaning emergency. i hope you can appreciate that too.

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