Nancy Cu Unjieng, CARA Welfare Philippines president, has been an animal advocate since she was a child, actively participating in animal rescue and welfare for over 15 years. But it was the horrific plight of a group of furry friends that moved her and her organization to take special action.
In 2012, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group raided an international syndicate of Korean nationals living in San Pablo, Laguna. They had taken advantage of hundreds of pit bulls for illegal activities such as dog fighting in the Philippines. The dogs were turned over to CARA, which continues to provide the dogs with shelter. “They had been cruelly chained to the ground and had been living in metal drums, used for this dog fighting syndicate,” says Cu Unjieng. A terrier breed originally bred for herding cattle, and, unfortunately, also used for fighting, pit bulls are typically described as “affectionate, intelligent, loyal, and strong-willed.”
Close to 230 dogs were turned over to CARA, which moved them to Lipa, Batangas, and now to Quezon, where there are 91 dogs left. Cu Unjieng adds that 36 dogs were able to find new owners through adoption. “Sadly, the animals were in very poor shape when we rescued them—many of them passed away or had to be put down because of their fight injuries and disease.”
The rescue was unique in that so many dogs were retrieved. CARA continues to care for and support the pit bulls who remain in their care. But with the psychological scars the animals bear from their treatment, the rehabilitation process has been an arduous one. “There has never been a raid and rescue of so many dogs used in
This story was originally published in the September 2017 issue of Town&Country.