Thirty dogs died of dehydration and heat stroke in an unventilated van being driven to a ‘beagle fancier’ show.
Facebook user Penny Cham shared a video of the dogs upon their arrival at a Philippine Canine Club event in Marikina City. The footage shows rescuers desperately trying to revive the unconscious animals.
Speaking to GMA News, a witness said the dog breeder put 40 dogs inside a closed truck and drove them from Quezon City to the Beagle Fanciers Club Dog Show, which was more than an hour’s drive away.
Rescuers were able to revive some of the dogs and took them to a vet for further treatment. However, they died the next day.
An administrative order from the Department of Agriculture specifies that transporting animals in a closed vehicle with insufficient ventilation and inadequate lighting is against the law.
Violators can face six months to three years in jail and/or fines of up to 250,000 pesos.
The canine club has suspended the breeder. However, Senator Francis Pangilinan, who worked on introducing changes to the Animal Welfare Act, is demanding further legal action.
In a statement posted on the Senate website today (Tuesday, December 12), Pangilinan said the breeder ought to be charged with violating the Amended Animal Welfare Act.
“We find the club’s action sorely lacking amid the tragic fate suffered by the dogs. In the ‘Incident Statement’ it issued, the club merely said it will have a trial board ‘to immediately commence a speedy and impartial investigation on the matter,’” the statement reads.
“It’s time to stop treating animals as mere commodities. How we regard animals show our capacity for empathy and decency, kindness and humanity.”
The statement also said that since 30 dogs were involved in the incident, this would be equivalent to 30 counts of the violation, with maximum penalties of up to 90 years imprisonment and/or a 7.5 million peso fine.