Wednesday, July 13, 2016

New Animal Advocate Group Organizes

A new dog group in Puerto Rico rises in the shade of stately trees in el parque Luis Munoz Marin, which by the way is a wonderful park. A circle of about twenty passionate animal lovers discussed the problems of dogs suffering in the streets and what they do to help.
The organizers have various rescue affiliations, but the majority are members of OICA, which is a group of Animal Cruelty Investigators. To a one, I thought they were lovely ladies. Gracias!!
Being one of the foreigners interested in solving the problem of dogs on the island, may I congratulate you on your high level of commitment; the Puerto Rican people mobilize against a huge problem.
Please, forgive my lack of Spanish; my senior tongue gets tied. I’ve been documenting the Puerto Rican island dogs since 2006. This is now my home; I am involved.
The speakers fervently spoke of working on a solution. I love that can do spirit. If you’re going to do it, you’ll need to do it right with a mission statement, organizational plan and a whole bunch more, so you need a lawyer ombudsman. At the meeting I didn’t get if you have a lawyer in the group or not; sorry.
Puerto Rico has many abogados sympathetic to the cause of dogs. For your board of directors reach into the community for successful business people, bankers and clergy; who do you know from the tourism industry? These supporters should be the ones to get the coveted 501C for a non profit and provide business and legal insights.
I wish you all the greatest luck, especially with getting a secretary to transcribe minutes; good minutes are so valuable.
Good hearts rising on the island; many hands share the burden.
God bless.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Another Pup Abandoned in the Road

Headed home on a quiet country road, enjoying the verdant beauty of the island, and running directly towards my car was a little yellow puppy, all alone. The pup ran as fast as a baby can; I slammed the brakes, opened the door, and the next thing I knew without getting out of my car, I suddenly had a puppy in my lap. 

I don’t want another dog, but the baby fell asleep on my leg before I turned on to my road. My dogs don’t want any more dogs here. Who wants this small thing? I stroked its head; it moaned and grunted.

Robert Redford, Blondie, and Lucky greeted me at the bottom of my driveway and raced the car up. Whining they waited for me to open the door. The pup perched on my forearm; I allowed them a sniff before bringing the critter inside where we wondered what’s next.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Abandoned Puppies

A couple of people are feeding these cuties on PR 453. The look better this week than they did last.

I believe in trap, neuter, and return, but these are babies. Perhaps a local rescuer will get them. 

Animal Control Puerto Rico

According to Bill 2950 the tourism industry is losing fifteen million a year because of the dog problem. The tourism industry must support vigorously endeavor to reduce the dog population by curtailing reproduction. To entertain a bill about animals in the middle of a financial crisis indicates that the time has come for change; animals will no longer be collected and killed.
This is so wonderful. Bravo to those who envisioned this bill!

How much money will be budgeted to support the enactment of the bill?
How much would it cost to sterilize all the dogs on the island?

According to the bill, if I read it correctly, there are 300,000 dogs on the island.
If sterilization or spay/neuter, if you prefer, will cost according to the bill $35- $50, let’s take the high end $50.
300,000 X $50 = $15,000,000

One year’s loss for tourism would neuter all; isn’t that interesting?!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

How the World Lived With Dogs

Picture life on a Caribbean island two hundred years ago with no cars, no Iguanas, but dogs walked with the farmers to market or to the fields in search of yame (yams).

Dogs and cats roamed the woods around the house at night hunting rats or mice. People slept soundly at night certain the dogs would sound the alarm if anything stirred. They fed leftovers to the dogs without a sense of ownership. The dog that went to the market with the farmer might follow his neighbor to the river to fish.
The community dog concept is a large part of everyone’s heritage, if you go back far enough. North America is different because massive European migration interrupted the normal flow of life. Each settler brought a dog, which they valued for protection from predators.
In small human hamlets dogs wandered through the community, almost as freely as man. The humble life of the hamlet dog is part of our history.
Within the last two hundred years rabies finished the US tolerance for free ranging dogs. Americans can’t tolerate wolves in Yellowstone; dogs roaming in forest preserves, waiting to prey on children strikes fear.  It’s a national phobia.
Other parts of the world continue with the community dog concept or local variations.
Is the question how to bring the animal population into compliance?  
Is there a way to respect cultural heritage and do what’s best for health and safety without killing dogs?