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Celebrities seek justice for pet dog killed in CamSur

by Joanna Deala

Trigger warning: mention of animal cruelty

FILIPINO celebrities have joined the call to stop animal cruelty after the brutal death of a pet dog named Killua in Camarines Sur. Among those who are seeking justice for Killua were Sarah Geronimo, Janella Salvador and Kim Atienza.

On X (formerly Twitter), the popstar royalty mourned the death of Killua, a labrador retriever, who was reportedly killed by a man and put in a sack. Such news is “extremely heartbreaking,” said Geronimo.

“Walang kalaban-laban ‘yung aso. Katulad nating mga tao, nakakaramdam din sila ng takot at sakit,” she stressed.

“Every life deserves respect and protection. It’s time to demand accountability and raise our voices against animal cruelty,” she added.

Geronimo encouraged the public to unite as “the voice for the voiceless.”

Salvador, on the other hand, said that “people don’t deserve animals.”

“Ang sakit-sakit sa puso. These psychos better end up in jail,” the 25-year-old singer-actress said.

Television personality Kim Atienza is also seeking justice for the killing of the pet dog.

“Golden retrievers are the safest dogs to be with kids. You broke the law, you will go to jail sir,” he said.

Incident

Killua’s furparent, Vina Rachelle Arazas, shared a CCTV footage showing how her pet dog was chased and beaten by a man. In an interview with GMA News Online, Arazas narrated that her dog went missing from their house as soon as they woke up.

The pet owner said that she has spoken with the suspect, identified as Anthony Solares. He brought them to a “secluded place” where her dog was found inside a sack. The suspect claimed that the dog had bitten people.

Arazas said that she is coordinating with law enforcement authorities to take legal action against the suspect.

In an interview with News 5, Solares admitted to slaughtering the dog and said that he only did so because he wanted to help an elderly person.

“Ginawa ko lang po yung nararapat doon sa ano kasi yung matanda nga kung hindi ko pa tinulungan baka kung ano pang nangyari non,” he said.

Solares also claimed that the dog nearly attacked his wife. 

“Hinabol ko na yung aso kasi nangagat na, bale nakadalawang kagat na siya. Tapos, muntikan pa nga yung asawa ko na nagtitinda lang doon,” he narrated.

“Maski nga ako nakagat na. Kung baga sa ano, talagang wala na sa sarili yung aso,” he added. “Lahat ng makasalubong niya, parang gusto pa niyang kagatin.”

The suspect claimed that he wasn’t the one who stuffed the dog inside a sack. He said that he left Killua in his store to go to the restroom, and when he came back, he saw that the dog was already placed in the sack.

“Hindi ko na alam kung sino nang naglagay. Pagdating ko, nakasako na,” he recalled.

Arazas refuted the suspect’s allegations and said that her dog was not aggressive.

“Mabait po ‘yon kasi nga po alaga po namin ‘yon dito sa bahay, and natutulog pa nga po ‘yon sa tabi ko. Makakapag-attest din po yung mga kaibigan ko, mga pumupunta po dito sa bahay na mabait pong aso si Killua,” she told News 5.

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), which has been tagged in numerous posts related to Killua’s death, said that it has reached out to the dog’s furparent through Facebook but it has yet to receive a reply. The organization also asked the public to help them connect with the pet owner.

Tougher law vs animal cruelty

Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe said she has filed Senate Bill No. 2458 or “The Revised Animal Welfare Act” amidst reports of cruelty, neglect and abandonment of animals.

She said the proposed law will include Mandatory Animal Welfare Education in the curriculum for primary and secondary education students and the creation of a Barangay Animal Welfare Task Force to address animal welfare concerns promptly. The task force will work with Animal Welfare Enforcement Officers (AWEO) who have been deputized by the secretary of the Department of Agriculture.

Poe said that the bill is pending in the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

“Heartbroken” and “enraged” over Killua’s death, the lawmaker also cited the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, amended by Republic Act 10631, that punishes cruel treatment of animals.

“If we are to create a kinder society where animals and humans can co-exist in harmony, we must raise awareness on the proper, responsible, and humane manner of treating animals,” she stressed.

Poe’s call for a broader and tougher law against animal cruelty was welcomed by many netizens, including voice talent and content creator Inka Magnaye.

Magnaye, a pet owner, highlighted that the punishment for animal cruelty in the country “is barely a scratch on the perpetrator” and is “only implemented after uproar from the public.”

“Perhaps in the near future, dogs like Killua and the countless other Aspins and Puspins whose abuses often go untold, will be protected just as much if not more than humans. At least we are able to advocate for ourselves. They are voiceless and suffer in silence,” she said in a Facebook post.

Violators of the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 may face penalties including fines not exceeding P100,000 and imprisonment of up to two years.

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