THERE are types of domesticated animals like dogs, cats and guinea pigs that are made as pets. They say that “dogs are man’s best friend” because of their loyalty. That is why almost, if not all, households have dogs as their pets. Like human beings, animals have their rights too and they are protected by a law against animal cruelty and unreasonable killings.
In Mantuyong, Mandaue City, Jessie Tan was accused of hacking the dog of his neighbor, Liezel Perez. The owner filed a complaint before the barangay captain. During the hearing, Tan admitted having hacked Perez’s dog saying he did it because the dog almost bit his son. Perez did not tie her dog. Although Tan and Perez have settled the issue with the former promising to provide medicine for the dog, Perez, on the other hand, withdrew her complaint.
But representatives of an animal rights advocacy group called Island Rescue Organization (IRO) took the cudgels for the owner and the dog. They want Tan charged and prosecuted for animal cruelty. I think this group is just showing their hypocrisy and overacting. They just want publicity.
Under the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 or (Republic Act 10631), animal cruelty and killing of animals without any justifiable reason are prohibited.
Section 6 states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to torture any animal, to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat any animal or to subject any dog or horse to dogfights or horse fights, kill or cause or procure to be tortured or deprived of adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat or use the same in research or experiments not expressly authorized by the Committee on Animal Welfare.”
The killing of any animal other than cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabaos, horses, deer and crocodiles is likewise hereby declared unlawful except in the following instances:
1) When it is done as part of the religious rituals of an established religion or sect or a ritual required by tribal or ethnic customs of indigenous cultural communities; however, leaders shall keep records in cooperation with the Committee on Animal welfare.
2) When the animal is afflicted with an incurable communicable disease as determined and certified by a duly licensed veterinarian.
3) When killing is deemed necessary to put an end to the misery suffered by the animal as determined and certified by a licensed veterinarian.
4) When it is done to prevent an imminent danger to the life or limb of a human being.
5) When done for the purpose of animal population control.
6) When the animal is killed after it has been used in authorized research or experiments.
7) Any other ground analogous to the foregoing as determined and certified by a licensed veterinarian.
Now, was the hacking of the dog justified? I can say without fear of contraction that it was justified based on paragraph 4. The life of Tan’s child was in danger. Is the group IRO showing more concern for the life of the dog than the life of the child? What Tan did was in defense and to protect his son. His action was a “justifying circumstance” and he did not commit any criminal offense, and definitely he will be exonerated.