The founder of IWCT and, at the same time, President of AKF is Mr. Charles Leslie Wartenberg with local askal “Sweet” The organization is presently composed of an external affairs officer, 2 full-time researcher/ investigator; 1 full time resident & consultant veterinarian; vet. asst.; center manager and personnel. Completing the structure are: Dr. Ponciano Aberin MD, Vice -President ; Board of Trustees: Alan Whittaker; Luis M. Buenaflor, Jr., Atty. Heidi Caguioa/Treasurer and Greg S. Quimpo/Corporate Secretary.
Animal Kingdom Foundation, Incorporated or more commonly known in the Philippines’ animal-welfare world as, simply, AKF Inc. is the local affiliate of the International Wildlife Coalition Trust (IWCT) based in the United Kingdom. AKF’s mission is to support, protect and promote welfare and the rights of animals; to eliminate the practice of illegal slaughter of dogs for human consumption and to introduce legislations or amendments in the existing animal-welfare laws of the Philippines.
A non-stock, non-profit animal welfare organization, Animal Kingdom Foundation, Inc., is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and duly enlisted with the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry, Animal Welfare Division. AKF has been in the forefront of animal-welfare advocacy in the country since 2002. Enforcing the Republic Act 8485-Animal Welfare Act of 1998-against illegal dog-traders is the main weapon utilized by AKF in its day to day operation against animal cruelty.
As saving distressed dogs in the Philippines go, AKF personnel risk life and limb catching dog-traders. Together with the Central Intelligence and Detection Group (CIDG), raids on establishments confirmed of trading dog-meat are conducted and interceptions of deliveries to slaughter houses, particularly in the northern region of the country, are cautiously carried-out. An initial investigation takes weeks or even months. AKF personnel may have to return several times to suspected areas and even pretend to be interested buyers to verify that these establishments or individuals are engaged in such illegal activity. With verified information, AKF coordinates with the national and local authorities, mostly the CIDG of the police force for the raids. The rescued animals are brought to the rescue center of AKF in Capas, Tarlac.
Deed for the Breed
Enumerating some of the continuing efforts of AKF Inc. in rescuing dogs from slaughter, one will have to appreciate the passion of its staff and personnel. Cases after cases in court against dog-traders have been filed by AKF after each raids and interceptions.
Accompanying the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) during raids, arrests were made in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, Tuguegarao City and in the province of Cagayan Valley. Furthermore, apprehension of illegal dog-traders and recovery of slaughter-bound dogs were also successfully carried out in Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Baguio, Bicol, Iloilo and Negros.
The foundation have delivered more than 800 live dogs to various pounds in the country and now keeps a number of rescued dogs, slowly growing after each successful operations, at Barangay Cub-Cub, Capas, Tarlac in AKF Animal Rehabilitation and Rescue Center.
Aside from these numerous raids and interception, vital coordination and link-ups with several agencies, private and government, have also played an important role in the foundation’s advocacy.