Police in the Philippines have rescued 300 badly injured pitbulls in a bust of an online dog fighting ring, Agence France-Presse reported.
The pitbulls were rescued and seven South Koreans arrested in a raid on a farm Friday in San Pablo, Laguna, the head of the operation told AFP. Four Filipino caretakers on the farm were also detained for questioning.
"The dogs were in very bad shape. They were either sick or were wounded," chief inspector Renante Galang told AFP. "This was a major online gambling syndicate in which they cruelly pitted the dogs against each other, sometimes to the death," he said.
ABS-CBN News reported that the illegal dog fights were held in a makeshift arena in a soundproofed home, and could be viewed live on the internet. Viewers placed bets using their credit cards online.
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Many of the animals were seriously injured, with ripped ears and tongues, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) told AFP. Twenty of the dogs needed to be euthanized.
Philippine police in December busted a similar syndicate in a nearby province, in which 240 dogs were rescued. Two of the men arrested in the most recent raid had also been arrested in December.
On its Facebook page, the group PAWS posted a photo of an emaciated dog with a chain around its neck, and urged support for more stringent laws to protect animals.
“Too many animals have already suffered, and criminals are becoming bolder, taking only two months after arrest to get back into their illegal operations once they have posted bail,” the group said.
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