It’s true: One person really can make a difference. In 2011, PETA received a report from a concerned citizen about several disturbing “crush” videos—violent fetish films that depict the torture of animals for perverse and twisted sexual gratification. That report led to a yearlong investigation by PETA in cooperation with the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation and the arrest of the alleged creators of the videos, Dorma and Vicente Ridon. Testimony is currently underway, and the Ridons are in custody while they stand trial.
The videos allegedly produced by the Ridons show scantily clad girls—some of them underage—torturing, mutilating, and killing animals. The subjects crushed puppies beneath their feet until they vomited their internal organs, set rabbits on fire and skinned them alive, burned a dog with a clothes iron, and stabbed a monkey and dogs in the eye with the sharp end of a stiletto heel.
Initially, the Ridons faced only charges of cruelty to animals and child abuse, but thanks to PETA and the Department of Justice, new charges have been added, including violations of the Philippine Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, and further child-abuse charges.
PETA is working hard to keep this case moving forward by attending every testimony and trial date. A judgment is expected for the Ridons in early 2014. This is a precedent-setting case that sends a clear message to people around the world: If you make such videos, you will be caught and you will go to jail.
One person made a tremendous difference in this case, simply by reporting something on the Internet. For animals in danger, one phone call or e-mail can mean the difference between life and death. Please, if you witness or hear about cruelty to animals, never be silent.
Posted by Edwina Baier