PAWS Files Case Against Pet Store Owners Over Animal Neglect

February 11, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) recently filed a criminal case against owners of a pet shop in Quezon City for animal neglect and operating without proper licenses.

In a joint complaint-affidavit filed before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office, complainants PAWS and BAI said respondents Jovic Dela Cruz and Christine Dela Cruz, owners of the pet stall “BARK Dogs and Cages” located at the ground floor of Fairview Terraces Mall that opened last December, have violated the Animal Welfare Act when some of the their dogs, allegedly up for adoption, were found to be sick.

PAWS said one of the “adopters,” who approached them for help, told them that the puppy she got from BARK last December 9 was suffering “from emesis (vomiting), profuse watery diarrhea, anorexia (lack of appetite), pyrexia (fever), upper respiratory tract infection, paleness of gingiva (gums), anemia, and involuntary muscle movement.”

The group said the pet adopter discovered, after visiting a veterinary clinic, that the puppy got sick because BARK has failed to provide proper care for the animal.

“Section 6 (of the Republic Act 8485 or the Amended Animal Welfare Law) makes it unlawful for any person to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance or shelter to any animal,” the complainants said.

PAWS further noted that BARK was an illegal pet seller, who only pretended to give out dogs for adoption.

The group said BARK has asked the adopter to pay P3,000 for the so-called “adoption fee.”

PAWS believed that this “dog adoption” initiative was only a disguise for BARK’s pet-selling business.

The BAI, on the other hand, has confirmed that BARK was not registered with them.

According to BAI, pet shops are under the jurisdiction of the bureau, which is responsible for issuing certificates of registration to pet shops yearly to ensure that the establishment is adequate, clean, safe and will not be used to harm animals as mentioned in RA 8485.

“Section 2 of RA 8485 states that no person, association, partnership, corporation, cooperative or any government agency or instrumentality shall establish, maintain, and operate a pet shop, without securing from the BAI a certificate of registration therefor,” the complainants noted.

Moreover, the complainants said the BARK was operating without a business permit. – RBL

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