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During a rescue operation in the north of the Philippines, Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF), together with our mother organization, International Wildlife Coalition Trust (IWCT)-United Kingdom, rescued a weak 3 month old dog together with scores more from a slaughterhouse in Baguio City, the main dog-meat market in the country. Sweet, as we named him, was found cowering in a corner of a very cramped cage along with others 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 amidst all the carnage that caught the attention of IWCT Director Charles Warternberg that lead him to decide to personally take care of 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.

After undergoing rehabilitation for a month, Sweet flew to London with Charles. He arrived at Gatwick Airport on August 2, 2002, to begin his new life with the Wartenbergs.

After just 2 years of living with Charles, Sweet became the United Kingdom's Dog of the Year for 2004. The contest is an annual event sponsored by Daily Mail Weekend Magazine.

Sweet bested over 8,000 other entries coming 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.

"We never thought Sweet would become a celebrity abroad! All we want is for him to have a happy home, now, he is a Pinoy superstar in London!" AKF staff exclaimed.

Greg Salido Quimpo
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

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