Mexican Street Dogs
There are thousands of stray dogs living in the streets and on the beaches of Mexico. Though there are no hard and fast stats for how many dogs are eking out an existence, Mexico City authorities report that they capture and kill an estimated 20,000 dogs per month in their city alone. In Manzanillo, a city in Colima, there are more than 16,000 dogs and cats living on the streets. With little food and sustenance, searing heat and very little shelter, these dogs have few friends and a lot of enemies. Because they lack basic care, they succumb to diseases and serious problems such as claws growing into their feet and coats matting, which pulls on the skin and creates a safe haven for insect larvae. They are infested with fleas and ticks, and many suffer from mange. But starvation, dehydration, sickness and exposure are not their biggest challenges; tragically, their biggest challenges are apathy and ignorance.
Though there are millions of animals being put to death every year in the United States due to overpopulation, the problem in Mexico is far more critical. Not only are there more stray dogs, but the manner of euthanasia is far from a humane “nighty night” drug. According to the Humane Society International, phenobarbital, the drug most used to euthanize animals in the States, has been denied to Mexican veterinarians. They use electrocution instead. It’s a painful and inhumane death, but it is inexpensive and available.
There is hope. There are several rescue and spay/neuter programs in place. This year, Anderson & Boback donated money and their time to the cause. Kimberly and Janice were hands on at the first Telchac Puerto’s “Programa de Animales al Rescate” spay and neuter program. The town worked together, along with over 40 veterinarians and medical students to spay and neuter over 130 dogs and cats this past March 2013. Kimberly and Janice not only took advantage of playing with the many puppies that came through the door that day, but they assisted in the operating room, which was quite like a M*A*S*H* unit that you see on tv. It was an incredible experience. I hope you enjoy the photos that were taken by our good friend Toni Walter, who also donated her time and skill that day.
A job well done!