Founder of AKF, the late Charles Leslie Wartenberg with Sweet, the askal he rescued from the dog meat trade. The organization is presently composed of 4 animal rehabilitation personnel, a vet assistant and the ff. officers: Greg S. Quimpo-President, Alan Whittaker-Vice-President, Atty. Heidi Caguioa-Treasurer, Atty Monalisa Vargas-Corporate Secretary and Antonio Roxas. The resident veterinarian is Rene Dave Tacba, DVM with Alan Pekitpekit as the Center Supervisor.
Animal Kingdom Foundation, Incorporated or more commonly known in the Philippines’ animal-welfare world as, simply, AKF Inc. 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 Acts 8485-Animal Welfare Act of 1998 (Amended in 2013) & the Anti Rabies Law of 2007-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 Philippine national Police, raids and interceptions on establishments confirmed of trading dogs and dog-meat carried-out. An initial investigation takes weeks or even months. With verified information, AKF coordinates with the PNP and raids are then carried. 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 Philippine National Police (PNP) during raids, arrests have been made in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, Tuguegarao City 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.
And Then, There Was Sweet
In one of its sorties against the illegal dog traders in the north, AKF Inc. rescued a 3 month old dog from a slaughterhouse in Baguio City. Sweet, as he came to be called, is just one among the thousands of dogs that ends up in one of the many illegal slaughterhouses in Baguio each week. He was found cowering in a corner of a very cramped cage along with several other dogs without food and water. Earlier, 40 other dogs were brutally slaughtered in front of him, their heads smashed with a wooden club. Perhaps it was his soulful eyes or demeanor amidst the carnage that caught the attention of AKF Director Charles Warternberg to rescue Sweet and bring him to London.
“It is likely that Sweet was more of a family pet who was either stolen or sold to the dog-meat traders as he was in fairly good physical condition when we rescued him”, Charles said.
From Baguio, Sweet was immediately taken to a pet hospital in Makati where he was treated and recuperated for a month prior to his flight to London.
At 12:35 p.m. August 2, 2002, Sweet arrived at the Gatwick airport to begin his new life with Charles Wartenberg.
Sweet Celebration: (Pinoy Askal Wins United Kingdom’s Dog Of The Year 2004!)
Animal Kingdom Foundation Inc.’s dog, Sweet, is the United Kingdom’s Dog of the Year for 2004. The Dog of the year is an annual contest sponsored by Daily Mail Weekend Magazine where they search for the dog with the most unusual and memorable experience.
Sweet bested over 8,000 other entries coming from all over United Kingdom and romped away with a Silver trophy, a gold medallion and a grand prize of 1,000 pounds. Prominent members of the British press judged the contest.
Several months back, AKF rescued a 3-month-old mongrel from dog butchers in Baguio. Sweet, as he came to be known, was nursed back to health and brought by Charles to London to become part of the Wartenberg family.