LOOK: St. Bernard in Baguio Viral Video Rescued

Remember Bruno, the St. Bernard who was captured on video being treated harshly for the sake of photos? (See article here) Well, good news! The Baguio Animal Welfare heard our pleas and they acted on it!


Here’s the official statement from the Baguio Animal Welfare:

ACTING ON NUMEROUS text messages, private messages, mentions and tags, and shares from various sites all over facebook, in the late evening of October 29, about a VIRAL VIDEO of a St. BERNARD DOG employed in photo ops in Wright Park, Baguio City, allegedly being maltreated, Baguio Animal Welfare visited the site to investigate and catch the dog’s female handler in the act.

WHEN I ARRIVED at around 8:00 am, the dog-handler tandem was nowhere to be found. Apparently, somebody who saw the post has alerted her and they decided to take the day off for fear of public reprisal. At WRIGHT PARK, I met a kagawad of Barangay Lualhati, and a member of the Deltacom who was sent to check on the case. WE LEARNED that the handler who appeared on the video has already been reprimanded by an officer of the civic organization who operates/owns the dog — whose name is BRUNO, an 18-MONTH-OLD male St.

Bernard breed dog. The 18-year-old female handler admitted she has had little training in handling a St.

Bernard, and she serves only as alternate handler of the dog. WE INTERVIEWED the female handler, who happened to be a young, single parent, and we checked on the condition of the dog.


Also present was the regular male handler of Bruno. SHE ADMITTED into shouting at the dog but both handlers explained that it would be unnecessary and improbable for her to strike the dog with a clenched fist (suntukin) since the dog was so gentle and he passively obeys her commands. He may have become restless though if he could see another dog nearby. UNFORTUNATELY, the video did not capture the allegations: “Diko nakunan kung pano mo iwagwag ung kadena nung aso at kung pano mo suntukin… Iwawagwag nia at pag umalis ung nag pa pic susuntukin” — so that MALTREATMENT, an offense under the Animal Welfare Act, if evident, can be charged against her in an affidavit of complaint. NEVERTHELESS, since the matter has been brought into public attention, we have all decided to indefinitely SUSPEND THE EMPLOYMENT of BRUNO in PHOTO OPS pending further consultations with the proper government agencies and verification of the permit/license to operate the business, which should require certificate of training. BRUNO remains in the custody of the civic group operating the dog, there is also the regular male handler to take care of him. But they were sternly advised to have Bruno checked by a veterinarian soonest.


ON THE MATTER of the welfare of Bruno: “Naawa kmi s aitchura ng aso matamlay malungkot namumula mata parang nauuhaw” he seemed to be healthy except for the redness in the lower membranes of the eyes and we discovered a small fresh wound on his ear which needs medical attention. We also noticed that the collar is a little tight restricting the neck area, therefore, it had to be removed.


The leash was also found to be too short for him to have freedom to move around easily. He may also need some time for walks to release his unspent energy, which makes him uneasy during work. AT THE MOMENT, we could not legally file a complaint against the female handler for lack of testimonial evidence or video of her actual committing the said maltreatment or abuse.

UNLESS, the one who posted the viral video, or any other witnesses to the act, shall come forward and execute AFFIDAVIT/S OF COMPLAINT which we shall file with the City Prosecutor’s Office. OUR ADVISE to all SINCERELY-CONCERNED PET LOVERS in effectively reporting potential animal welfare transgression/s is this: TAKE PHOTOS and/or VIDEOS of the victim pet animal undergoing maltreatment, abuse or progressive neglect (ongoing commission of a crime or transgression), and send it to Baguio Animal Welfare, for us to catch the culprit red-handed. WE DON’T WANT TO POPULARIZE… BUT PUNISH OFFENDERS. HOWEVER, for misguided PET OWNERS who sincerely wish to rectify their shortcomings (negligence or maltreatment) with their pets: WE BELIEVE IN MAKING RESPONSIBLE OWNERS OUT OF PEOPLE. OUR NEXT MOVE, which was triggered by this incident is to fast track our plan to REGULATE (instead of BAN totally, like what they did in one Alps city in Switzerland) the employment of the St. BERNARDS, and OTHER PETS similiarly engaged in income-generating operations, into a CITY ORDINANCE to establish GUIDELINES on the working condition, working hours, handler training, education, health care, and operator-handler organizations federation-building (to police their own rank).


We’re just glad this issue had been acted on and Bruno is now safe. Hopefully, his health concerns would also be addressed the soonest and no similar incidents would happen again. Thanks to the power of social media, this sweet boy can now have a better life.

What are your thoughts on this incident?