Street dogs are common all over Latin America. They inspired me write ‘Ode to the Latin American Street Dog‘ which I published on this blog. The reality of life on the streets for these animals is extremely tough and as if they didn’t already have a raw deal, their lives are made even more difficult, as related in the translation below, by the abuse they suffer at the hands of humans. This article considers the case of the State of Mexico. The original comes from the alternative Mexican news site Animal Politico. It can be found here.
Photograph from my extensive wanderings around Mexico City for the Mexico Metro Project.
In the State of Mexico, the most populous in the country with more than 15 million inhabitants, it is estimated that there are five million dogs. In other words, one dog for every three inhabitants.
The majority of the canines suffer abuse and it is estimated that only one million of them have homes.
The head of the State of Mexico Environmental Protection Agency, Juan Jacob Pérez Miranda, stated that in the past year they received more than one thousand complaints of animal abuse, of which just over half are related to dogs.
In the past year, several operations in different places were carried out which led to the rescue of 200 animals, of which 70 percent were dogs while the remainder were horses and donkeys which had been subjected to abuse.
Large numbers of citizen complaints for this problem come from the municipalities of Naucalpan, Tlalnepantla, Nezahualcóyotl, Atizapán and Ecatepec as well as Toluca, Coatepec de Harinas, Metepec and Zinacantepec.
Because of the problems of street dogs and animal abuse in these municipalities, there are canine wellbeing and control centres.
Of the 125 municipalities in the state, 32 of them currently have this kind of centre while the rest of the municipalities, in accordance with the biodiversity code, are required to have some kind of space that is equipped with the necessary infrastructure to care for these animals.
Of the almost 5 million dogs in the state, it is estimated that four million live in the streets, causing a breeding ground for disease. For this reason, the resources required to eradicate the problem are being strengthened.
Pérez Miranda specified that, ‘in coordination with animal protective associations and through the Citizens’ Council of Animal Protection and Wellbeing, measures such as the adoption,sterilisation and care of pets are being implemented’.
He stressed that through these programs, the adoption of dozens of dogs has been achieved. The dogs are not handed over to the interested parties until it is verified that they have an adequate living space to offer.
Furthermore, programs to prevent the sale of these animals on public roads are being implemented as many people buy dogs on special occasions and in many cases the dogs are not in good health, have not been desexed and have not even been given vaccinations.
Complaints to the State of Mexico Environmental Protection Agency to initiate the revision process can be filed via internet, either directly to their official website or on their social networks.
In addition, seven cases have been referred to the state office of the Attorney General because the animal abuse is possibly linked to a criminal offence, as occurred in a building in the housing estate of Pastores de Naucalpan.
Juan Jacob Pérez Miranda assured that the culture of denouncing animal abuse, above all towards dogs, is rising. The public is helping to promote a culture of respect to animals.
Pérez said that denouncing animal abuse acts as a preventative measure as well as a coercive one as the punishments that can apply to these kinds of crimes are disseminated to the public.