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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Grace Poe adds voice in seeking justice for ‘Killua’ the dog

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Sen. Grace Poe on Wednesday reminded the public to be aware that there are laws, which prohibit and punish the cruel treatment of animals. Like other Filipinos on social media, she also felt upset over the death of ‘Killua,’ a pet dog of Golden Retriever breed in Camarines Sur.

“I am heart-broken and enraged to hear of the mauling of Killua, a Golden Retriever,” said Poe.

The hashtag #JusticeForKillua, which was started Sunday (March 17) by the dog’s owner Vina Rachelle on Facebook, is still the number one trending topic on social network X (formerly Twitter) for two days now. It was trending alongside the name Anthony Solares, the main suspect in its slaughter.

Solares admitted to killing the dog on purpose allegedly to prevent it from harming others because it went mad. He claimed in media interviews that ‘Killua’ had bitten him once and tried to do the same to his wife. But he denied putting the dog inside a sack and killing it for its meat.

Poe noted, however, that Solares’ actions which were captured in a CCTV video were fraught with excessive violence. The video shows that it was ‘Killua’ who was being chased by a mad Solares.

“It is, of course, up to our courts to decide on the matter,” she said.

“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,” Poe emphasized.

In light of this and other numerous reports of cruelty, neglect, and abandonment of animals, the senator said she has filed a proposed law to improve the state of animal welfare in our country. 

She cited her Senate Bill No. 2458, also known as “The Revised Animal Welfare Act,” which includes having Mandatory Animal Welfare Education in the curriculum for primary and secondary education students.  

The bill also creates a Barangay Animal Welfare Task Force, which will enable local officers to address the animal welfare issues with dispatch. 

“It is envisioned that they shall work hand in hand with the corps of Animal Welfare Enforcement Officers (AWEO) from non-government organizations, citizens’ groups, community organizations, and other volunteers who have undergone the necessary training and have been deputized by the Department of Agriculture Secretary, as well as animal welfare enforcement officers from law enforcement agencies,” Poe explained.

This bill is now pending in the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

“We hope to pass this bill soon and put an end to despicable incidents such as what happened to ‘Killua,’” said Poe.

At present, she cited the existing Animal Welfare Act of 1998, amended by Republic Act 10631, which forbids the torture, neglect, maltreatment, and killing of dogs and horses.

On Tuesday, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri also vowed to make Animal Welfare a Senate priority.

He committed to make the Revised Animal Welfare Act a priority measure of the Senate.

In the presence of furry friends or pet dogs and animal welfare advocates in the Senate Session Hall, Zubiri assured Poe that he “wholeheartedly” supports the measure.

“It’s the first time that I’ve seen animals inside the Senate, in the Session Hall. So, this is a historic day. I think, my dear colleagues, we are going to transfer our home to BGC very soon, I think we should make it a pet-friendly building. Let’s make it a pet-friendly building where we can take our pets,” Zubiri said.

Earlier, Poe said when it comes animal welfare, she knows that the Senate is a “multipawtisam” body and anyone who raises that issue is not barking up the wrong tree. “Indeed, animals have always had a special place in human society and history,” she said. 


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