Providing Care & Pursuing Justice for Dogs in the Philippines


On Friday, November 10, Animal Kingdom Foundation and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police carried out a raid and rescue operation on a reported dog slaughterhouse in the northern part of the Philippines. The makeshift slaughterhouse was built in the middle of a rice field in one of the villages of Urdaneta City, Pangasinan, allowing the dog traders to avoid being detected earlier.

Once on site, the team found two dogs who were still alive, and one who had sadly already been slaughtered. Both dogs were tethered to iron structures, with the snout of one tied with wire indicating she was the next to be killed. The team members were devastated to find the one dog who had died in such a horrific way, but were thankful that they were able to rescue the other two dogs, now named Nika and Nikita.

You can see Nika and Nikita’s progress after a week at Animal Kingdom Foundation on YouTube. Nika is now very playful and trusting, but Nikita is still a bit guarded, although she is playful with just one of her kennel mates for the moment.

Providing a new life for rescued dogs

Dogs rescued from slaughter are housed at Animal Kingdom Foundation’s Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, built for the most basic principle of animal welfare: to provide the animals with a better life.

When Charles Leslie Wartenberg, the late founder of AKF, started rescuing dogs from the dog meat trade in late 2002, he was heartbroken to give them up to various city pounds, knowing the rescued dogs would never enjoy a better existence and would eventually be put down.

A sign on the wall at AKF’s Quarantine area.

Charles informed donors of his plan to create a sanctuary for the dogs, and received enormous support. The Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center was built in 2006 on a rented property that was once a mango plantation. Large numbers of European supporters, a majority from the UK, provided most of the funds for the sanctuary.

The UK-based mother charity of AKF, which Charles himself also founded, disassociated with him in 2015, paving the way for AKF’s restructuring of its administrative and program capabilities.

Adam, a corporal in the British Army, volunteers to AKF in the Philippines after getting his work vacation from England.

Charles’ sudden passing last December 2016 further reduced what was left of the very few opportunities for AKF to raise funds. AKF is not now able to write to the bulk of its supporters, as the list is wholly owned by its former mother charity. AKF presently takes care of more than 70 once slaughter-bound dogs, more than 30 neglected dogs and five pit bulls that came from a group raised for dog fighting. Private individuals aid us with donations of dog food, while the little we earn from our low cost clinic, Voluntourist program on AirBnB, occasional fundraising events, and donations through our e-newsletter and other online promotions pays our electricity.

AKF needs steady support for stability and consistency. In addition to our recent rescue of Nika and Nikita, we have also gained victory in sending a dog trader to prison after seven years of trial, and have dozens of other pending cases against arrested traders from the dog meat industry. We had one pit bull, one puppy, and one adult male adopted this month, and 10 dogs are readied for re-homing in the coming weeks.

Please contact Animal Kingdom Foundation at to find out how you can help us in continuing our critical mission for dogs.

Pura, a neglected dog AKF rescued and nursed back to good health.

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About Author

Animal Kingdom Foundation’s mission is to support, protect and promote welfare and the rights of animals; to eliminate the practice of illegal slaughter of dogs for human consumption; and to introduce legislation or amendments to the existing animal welfare laws of the Philippines. Click to see author's profile.



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