After killing of dog Killua, Filipinos online suggest ways to protect pets

Russell Ku

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After killing of dog Killua, Filipinos online suggest ways to protect pets

KILLED. Killua, a golden retriever, drew social media attention after he would found dead in a sack by his owner.

Photo from Vina Rachelle's Facebook page

The hashtag #JusticeForKillua continues to top X Philippine trends as social media users call for harsher punishments for those who commit animal cruelty

MANILA, Philippines – Cruelty to animals became a hot topic Wednesday, March 20, of social media conversations by Filipinos, outraged by news of the killing of Killua, a golden retriever.

After killing of dog Killua, Filipinos online suggest ways to protect pets

Rappler asked social media users for suggestions to prevent a repeat of senseless killing of dogs like Killua, as well that of other animals. Many said lawmakers should prioritize imposing harsher punishments and penalties on those who abuse animals as stipulated in Republic Act No. 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998.

The law prohibits the “torture (of) any animal, to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance or shelter, maltreat any animal or to subject any dog or horse to dogfights or horsefights,” and other similar acts. 

At present, those who violate the law will receive a prison sentence of six months to two years, a fine ranging from P1,000 to P5,000, or both. 

The hashtag #JusticeForKillua topped social media trends since Tuesday, as Filipinos shared news of Vina Rachelle, Killua’s owner, finding “his lifeless body inside a sack.”

Vina also shared CCTV footage outside of her house that showed Killua being chased by his alleged killer.

“Even if he bit [the attacker], it is not enough reason to kill my pet. He was asking for [an] apology, but no sorry could ever replace my baby,” she said in a statement.

Senator Grace Poe was also among the personalities angered by the incident, echoing calls for harsher penalties under Senate Bill 2458.

“If we are to create a kinder society where animals and humans can coexist in harmony, we must raise awareness on the proper, responsible, and humane manner of treating animals.”   

Poe’s bill would raise the penalty for animal cruelty and maltreatment to a prison sentence of up to three years, a fine of P30,000 to P100,000, or both. It also proposes the creation of an animal welfare bureau under the Department of Agriculture.

Attention on strays

Killua’s death has also raised the concern of social media users about caring for stray animals. Filipinos online suggested that the government should prioritize programs such as requiring the spaying and neutering of animals, also known as kapon

According to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), spaying and neutering of animals could cost between P1,000 to P5,000 for native animals, with additional costs for mixed and purebred pets.

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PAWS also provides free kapon every February at its shelter in Quezon City. Concerned citizens can also coordinate with their local government units to plan a kapon outreach. The outreach requires the need for a sponsor to cover the effort’s costs. 

Social media users also suggested integrating strays into the projects of local governments or civic organizations. 

What else could we do to help protect animals from abuse? What are your thoughts on Killua’s death? Share your thoughts in the health and wellness chat room by downloading the Rappler app on iOS or Android. –

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Russell Ku

Russell Ku is a digital communications specialist at Rappler who believes in the power of stories to build an empathic society.