Police raided a dogfighting facility in a town south of Manila and rescued around 300 pitbulls, many with ripped ears and tongues, police and veterinarian officials said Saturday.
Officers arrested two South Korean men suspected of operating the facility and four Filipino security guards during the raid late Friday on a 2-hectare (5-acre) compound in San Pablo township in Laguna province, said Renante Galang of the national police criminal investigation group. The raid followed two weeks' surveillance.
Galang said officers confiscated high definition cameras and computers used for an illegal online gambling game where players place bets on dogs they see in livestreamed videos.
He said the two Koreans were arrested in December in a similar facility in nearby Cavite province where 256 dogs were found. He said the pair were out on bail.
Anna Cabrera, program director for the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, said the dogs _ pure-bred pitbulls and mixed breeds of the dogs that are known for their strength _ all suffered wounds and were in very poor health. They had to euthanize at least 23 on site, she said.
Veterinarian Wilford Almora said the dogs have scars from fights and many have ripped ears and tongues. Most of the bite wounds were on the forehead, ears and snout, he said.
Metal fuel drums served as individual shelters for the dogs which were held by heavy steel chains, Cabrera said.
The penalty if convicted of animal cruelty is a maximum two years' imprisonment.