MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Police rescued dozens of dogs that were bound up and crammed into a van for a suspected illegal sale to a slaughterhouse in the northern Philippines, officials said on Friday.
After a tip from animal advocates, police officers seized the van in the northern province of Pangasinan and found 60 surviving dogs along with 12 that had suffocated, police superintendent Ronald Gayo said. The dogs had their snouts and feet bound with plastic cords.
The van's driver and his assistant were arrested and escorted to their destination - a slaughterhouse inside a sprawling pig and poultry farm in San Carlos township in northern Pangasinan province, Supt Gayo said. The slaughterhouse's owner and workers managed to flee when police arrived on Wednesday.
Killing dogs for the meat trade is illegal, but dog meat is considered a delicacy in some parts of the Philippines.