Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dog Drama in Lares Mountain Side

In the mountain town of Lares a lady started feeding stray dogs. More dogs came, she started keeping them in her house. The house was full of dogs, she would no longer let family in to visit. She became ill and then add insult to injury; she was evicted.
Suddenly all of these dogs are back on the street waiting for this woman to take care of them. Animal Control Officer, Alma Febus to the rescue; she, alerted authorities, organized the capture of perhaps forty-five dogs and assisted the neighbors in an effort to feed the remaining dogs. 
One of the neighbors wrote on my face book news page that about twenty of these dogs were taken to Villa Michelle, which is a good shelter in Mayaguez where the dogs have a shot at being adopted before a lethal injection. The other twenty-five were picked up by the municipality. In some municipalities, that may mean they don't get past go and no two hundred dollars. For dogs that are sick or suffering, it's a blessing. What about the ones that aren't sick or suffering? A meager existence is still an existence.
Auswitch Island for dogs is my nightmare, but that does not negate the good many people are doing here or the love of the well intending. 


This past week Animal Control Officers Natalia Vega, Alma and I hiked up the mountain to see the make shift shelter the retiree tried to put together, so she could keep her beloved dogs. We tried to assess how many dogs are still in the area. In my opinion a credible current count is almost impossible as the dogs have scattered. 
What I do know is that the large number of dogs defecating on the roads in front of homes is a health hazard.
An island wide organized spay week twice a year will go a long ways towards getting control of the animals in a compassionate way befitting an island with the enormous heart of Puerto Rico.
The island's reputation and tourism would benefit by some good public relations. If we invite young veterinarian students about to graduate to the island to help, they'll feel happy about the good they are doing. 
After graduating these people with well paying careers will return to Puerto Rico where they have friends and warm feelings. 
Tourism opportunity here, HELLO, PUERTO RICO.
Taking care of our dog problem doesn't have to mean murder. We don't have the shelters; let's use what we have. Every neighborhood has dog lovers, who will get involved. 

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