Animal cruelty video angers netizens
MANILA, Philippines - Netizens are angry over a video of a woman brutally torching a dog alive that has been making the rounds of social networks.
In the video, an asian-looking woman in red high heels and a fitted black dress burns a helpless dog alive with a blowtorch. The dog, tied to a rope, clearly appears to be weak and stuggles to escape. The woman smiles and poses for the camera in the act of torture. The video lasts for roughly a minute and a half.
The video was posted on May 29 on YouTube by Deseantupidora Porto Alegre, a company in Brazil, although it is not specified how they obtained the video. The caption written in Portuguese reads, “Mulher queima cachorro vivo com maçarico”, which directly translates to “Woman burning dog alive with torch.” It has reached nearly 300,000 views as of this writing.
On June 11, Filipino Facebook community, Naknangputa, uploaded the same video, bringing the debate to the locality. The video has drawn more attention after different Facebook pages and users spread it all over social media, gaining over 27,000 shares and numerous violent reactions. It is unknown whether the video is from the Philippines.
Animal rights groups say the video is similar to the animal crush videos made and sold to satisfy the particular fetishes of some people. According to the Mirror, Facebook has refused to remove at least one instance of the video because "it did not violate community standards."
The video has angered many viewers. Facebook user Michael Cariaso commented: “I’m not over-exaggerating, but I’m crying and shaking right now.” Another Facebook user, Emar Rio De Guzman, said: “The nerve! I would love to hit your face with those heels! You’ll burn in hell! That would be worse than what you’re doing with that dog!”
According to Republic Act 8485, also known as the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, it is unlawful for any person to torture any animal. Section 8 of the Act states that any violation is punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) already received 98 reports from concerned citizens since last month regarding the video, but they were not able to obtain any solid information that would lead to filing of a case against the offender. For the case to prosper, an affidavit and firsthand witness are necessary. With no information at hand regarding the video, PAWS said it is difficult for them to conduct an investigation.
PAWS also does not have any law enforcement power. Instead, PAWS encourages people to report any act of animal cruelty to the police.
Anna Cabrera, the Executive Director of PAWS, said that the video “could be a variation of the crush videos” that had circulated in the Philippines last year. In the series of ‘crush porn’ videos, underage girls torture and kill puppies, kitten, rabbits and other animals. In fact, the woman appearing in the video torching the dog shares similarities with those in the other crush videos. However, Vicente and Dorma Ridon, the makers of the “fetish” videos, have already been charged and convicted in September 2014 for human trafficking, cruelty to animals, child abuse and violating wildlife protection laws.
Cabrera urged people to take action against animal cruelty. “If we whine about animal cruelty and not file criminal charges, you know that saying by Edmund Burke, ‘The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,'" said Cabrera. - Rappler.com
REPORT incidences of animal cruelty to your local barangay or police. Get involved and volunteer with PAWS.
Alison Tabong and Soeui Lee are Rappler interns.