Animal Abuse in the Philippines
Posted by Admin Date June 2, 2016
Although many pets in the Philippines are loved and taken care of well, as much as one third of all pets, perhaps even more, are kept in conditions which in developed countries would be grounds for prosecution.

The Philippines does have a law in place called the Animal Welfare Act of 1998. It prohibits torture, but it does cover the care of privately owned animals. Your average homeowner who keeps a dog in terrible conditions will never ever be prosecuted or even called out, because abuse is both legal and common. Most people are unaware that chaining or caging an animal is considered abuse in developed countries.

The photos below were taken over the course of just two afternoon walks with shelter dog Brownie, one in our immediate neighborhood and one in a nearby subdivision. We took photos of all visible abuse. A number of photos were discarded because the abused dog was behind a fence or foliage and not clearly visible, but we still got quite a collection of pictures.

What type of people commit the abuse? In some cases the owner will be a self-professed animal lover, who doesn't know that it is unacceptable to deny a dog the freedom of movement. A prominent animal rescuer we met advocated the chaining of dogs, and goes around the city chaining strays so they won't be hauled off by the dogcatcher. In other cases, the dog will be a cheap alarm system for guarding the house, often discarded when it ceases to function properly (i.e. become sick). Or the dog can be an investment, a pure-breed animal that can be bred and profited from, or put on display as an indicator of social status.

Tethered Dogs

Dogs are often kept tied up, which is fine for a very short period of time, for example during and immediately after a bath. But logic dictates that the dogs in the photos are tied up all day. Otherwise we wouldn't have seen so many in such a short period of time. Stains sometimes indicated that the animal relieved itself while tied up, which it wouldn't do unless tied up for a very long time. What's particularly galling is that in many case the ropes or chains are so short the animal can barely sit down or lie down without strangling itself.

Caged Dogs

Many dogs are kept in cages that are much too small for them. Again, this is fine for a short time, such as an hour or two per day. We put our dogs in cages at mealtime, to stop them from stealing each others food. We also give dogs timeouts in cages, to preempt aggressive behavior towards other dogs - but these timeouts never extend past an hour, and the animal is always provided with fresh water, and released immediately if the cage is soiled.

The dogs we saw are confined in very small cages 24/7, all year round. They poop in the cages, they sleep in the cages, and often they sleep on their own poop because nobody cleaned it up.

This is especially true for pure-breed dogs, because the dogs are kept as possessions of value (to be bred or treasured as ornaments), rather than pets or members of the family. However, many mongrels kept as guard dogs are also locked up in cages, as their sole purpose is to function as a cheap burglar alarm.

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