Isay Reyes, ABS-CBN News
LAUREL, Batangas — Makeshift shops selling puppies have been a bothersome sight in Laurel town in Batangas, near Tagaytay City.
One such store ABS-CBN News found on the roadside was selling Golden Retriever puppies for P1,800 to P2,500. The sellers said they only did such business on weekends.
Ashley Fruno, Director for Animal Assistance Projects at PETA Asia, told ABS-CBN News that selling puppies encourages the “market” to continue and subject more animals into unjust treatment.
"When you purchase a dog from a breeder or from a puppy seller, you are simply paying for this to continue. You are supporting the trade which is something to be stopped," Fruno said.
Under Section 2 of the Animal Welfare Act of the Philippines, anyone involved in the breeding or sale of puppies should have a Certificate of Registration from the Bureau of Animal Industry.
Failure to comply would result in "imprisonment of one year and six months and one day to two years and/or fine not exceeding P100,000 if the animal subjected to cruelty, maltreatment, or neglect dies."
Puppies sold along the road in Laurel town are left feeling cold and stressed because of the noise.
"Certainly those conditions are stressful to the puppies. There’s busy roads, lots of cars and lots of noise coming from the road. The heat and the cold temperature on certain days and not having constant access to water or not being close to their Mom could also be an issue,” Fruno added.
The sellers of the puppies claim they don't have alternative sources of income, and so they had to resort to such livelihood. But Fruno said this is not true.
"These puppy sellers were there before the pandemic started. It is something that we have received complaints about over the years."
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) said if people will stop patronizing the illegal sale of puppies, the business would eventually stop.
"It's also bad to be purchasing puppies from these unregistered individuals kasi we don’t know whether the animals were treated right, or they had good welfare practices in the raising of the puppies, maaaring may mga defects pa sila, maaaring may sakit (they might have defects and get sick)," Anna Cabrera, Executive Director of PAWS, said.
"We strongly urge the people, huwag kayong bumili kasi mamamatay din ng kusa ang business na 'yan kung walang bibili (do not buy from them because that business will naturally die if no one buys from them)," she added.
PETA and PAWS called on people to adopt instead of shop for pets. ABS-CBN News tried to get a statement and schedule an interview with local officials of Laurel but did not get a response.
ABUSED DOG IN QC
Meanwhile, in Quezon City, an abused dog was rescued on Wednesday by the Animal Kingdom Foundation after a video of it being abused by a couple went viral.
In the said video, a woman was caught on camera kicking and hitting the dog. Her partner then dragged the dog afterwards.
Cabrera said, animal cruelty is a serious criminal offense. Civilians caught abusing pets could be subject to 6 months to 2 years of imprisonment and a fine of almost P100,000 under the Animal Welfare Act.