It took more than five weeks to locate the secretive dog slaughterhouse. Raiding it almost cost a Network for Animals activist his life.
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We located the building in the south of the Philippine mainland. An innocuous house at the end of a dirt road, hiding a grim secret: an illegal dog slaughtering operation, protected by well-paid security guards, who swung into action every time the killing commenced.
Our team secretly monitored the building. The heat, humidity, mosquito and ant bites took their toll. But it was nothing compared to what the poor dogs would experience:
Forced into rusting metal cages, their sensitive noses would know the aging scent of canine blood on the air. They must know their time is short, because those cages are hell-on-earth. Excruciating temperatures, horrific humidity, and nowhere to rest but on-or-under the bodies of your cell mates. No water. No food. No hope.
The illegal slaughterhouse owner earns more than $11,000 each month and protects his business with a pistol and fierce temper. Our team leader Mel and his companion Perry knew this when they were discovered hiding in bushes on July 14th. Mel ran until he almost fainted, but Perry was not so fast, or so lucky: He was captured.
Mel quickly returned to the slaughterhouse with the only available policeman. When it became clear that Perry had been abducted, four more officers arrived. Achingly slowly, the terrifying situation was diffused. 36 dogs were seized, and eventually our teammate was returned safely from the hostage situation. It could have been so much worse.
We are under no illusions about the dangers we face, but we will not give in as long as you stand beside us. Please offer dogs hope, and recognize our heroes’ extraordinary bravery, with an extra special gift.