Suspected killer indicted for animal cruelty in dog Killua case

Kristine Daguno-Bersamina - Philstar.com
Suspected killer indicted for animal cruelty in dog Killua case
The left photo shows Killua, a three-year-old labrador-golden retriever, while alive. The right photo shows Killua's lifeless body.
Facebook / Vina Rachelle

MANILA, Philippines — The village watchman accused of killing Killua, the three-year-old labrador-golden retriever in Bato, Camarines Sur, has been indicted, according to an animal welfare group.

In a three-page resolution, Prosecutor Wilhenry Villar of the Provincial Prosecution Service-Iriga City found sufficient grounds to charge Anthony Solares, the barangay tanod implicated in the dog's death, with a violation of Republic Act 8495 or the Animal Welfare Act.

"This means the case is now People of the Philippines vs Anthony Solares and the trial will soon begin," the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) said on Facebook.

The resolution drew comparisons to a historic 1855 legal argument by American lawyer George Vest.

Quoting Vest, Villar said in his resolution, "When a neighbor killed his client's dog, the neighbor took the life of more than just a pet – he killed an important family member."

While Solares was not charged under the RA 9482 or Anti-Rabies Act for dog-meat trading, he faces potential penalties of up to three years imprisonment and fines up to P250,000 if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.

Solares killed Killua in Barangay Sta. Cruz in Bato on March 17, claiming that the dog was aggressive and had allegedly bitten people.

PAWS refuted Solares’ claims, saying footage of a closed-circuit television camera showed him chasing and hitting the dog multiple times in the head.

Vina Rachelle Arazas, Killua's fur parent, shared on Facebook that she discovered his lifeless body inside a sack. 

An examination conducted by the Bureau of Animal Industry later on revealed that Killua tested positive for rabies.

The animal welfare group previously argued that there are humane ways to deal with aggressive dogs, which include calling the city veterinarian office.

"No one is above the law. Those who harm animals also pose a threat to people and society as a whole. Reporting such crimes and pursuing legal action is vital in preventing further violence and creating a safe world for animals and humans," PAWS said.

"Improvement of our laws is ideal but no amount of lobbying for laws will lead to the prosecution of animal offenders if there is no criminal complaint filed by witnesses of animal abuse. PAWS is ready to support and stand by concerned citizens who take action and file these complaints," it added.

Dubbed #JusticeForKillua, the killing of the dog gained national attention and sparked widespread public outrage, particularly among animal lovers and advocates of animal rights in the Philippines. — with reports by Emmanuel Tupas and Bella Cariaso 

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