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Dog owner in 'closed van' deaths sued.

Hoping to send a 'strong message' to dog owners, an animal welfare group on Friday filed formal charges against the owner of eight dogs that died after they were transported in a closed van to a dog show earlier this month.

Animal Kingdom Foundation Inc. (AKF) program director Heidi Caguioa charged Joey Mancilla; Arnold Llanto, the van driver; and several other John Does who helped load the canines into the van of violating Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act.

The case was filed in the office of Marikina Assistant City Prosecutor Peter Steve Lim.

Eight of the 40 canines owned by Mancilla died after they were transported in a closed van to a dog show hosted by the Philippine Canine Club Inc. (PCCI) on Dec. 2.

The animals reportedly traveled for more than two hours from Malabon to Marikina City, the venue of the dog show, Caguioa said.

Of the 40 dogs, three died on the spot while several others were taken to veterinary clinics, she added.

'Extremely dry' van

According to AKF, it has four witnesses and a video to prove that the van was 'extremely dry' and lacking in ventilation.

'Mancilla, Llanto and the John Does inflicted unnecessary pain, discomfort and suffering [on] the dogs by their negligent act,' it said in its complaint.

'Equally liable are the driver and helper in allowing and in fact, transporting approximately 40 dogs in an enclosed Mitsubishi van/truck with no proper ventilation, and if there is any, insufficient for the number of dogs, with no access to water,' AKF added.

Llanto earlier told witnesses that Mancilla had instructed him to use the closed van to transport the canines. At that time, Mancilla was already at the venue.

According to the petition, the truck van had no shipping permit to transport the dogs, which was in violation of the law.

Caguioa said it was 'unimaginable' for Mancilla, a self-proclaimed dog enthusiast who owns numerous dogs and with 30 years of experience as a dog show exhibitor, to transport the animals in such a manner.

The death of the dogs prompted PCCI to expel Mancilla from the club on Dec. 20 as it condemned the incident.

It also said it would conduct its own investigation into the matter.

PCCI suspension pushed

However, AKF and other animal welfare groups have also asked that PCCI be suspended from conducting more dog shows, saying 'it failed to monitor the conduct of the members and issue strict guidelines' on the holding of such activities.

'It is important that this case prosper as it will send a strong message to breed dog owners, especially those in dog shows, that in taking care of animals, [their] proper transport should seriously be considered. This is an eye-opener that incidents like these happen. We should be vigilant,' Caguiao said.

'We see cute dogs during the shows but we are not aware of what's happening behind [the scene],' she added.

According to her, there could be more casualties among the dogs that survived the incident as hypoxia, heat stroke and depression may lead to aggravated medical conditions or illnesses.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Dec 23, 2017
Words:608
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