Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Animal Control in Puerto Rico

Dedicated rescuers in Puerto Rico beg for people to adopt dogs and puppies. Their hearts ache because of the conditions in which the dogs live.

Truck loads of dogs are put to sleep daily. Put to sleep, doesn’t that sound peaceful? Some people actually believe ending their lives is better for them. How pathetic to think that killing a young healthy being is good. Let’s hope the folks who think that way are never put in charge of programs for homeless people.

This does not sit well with me or many others. What to do? Some groups have organized spay clinics with volunteer veterinarians from the states and elsewhere. For the past year I’ve been doing research into conducting spay clinics on the island. This is a grand undertaking. Dog loving activists have gone through the effort and expense of putting all of this together to be refused.

The help of dog lovers of the world has been turned down. People ready and able to ameliorate a chronic problem have been casually waived off because they are not licensed in Puerto Rico. Are Puerto Rican vets not given reciprocity in any states? Why do no state side vets have reciprocity in Puerto Rico?

Is there no way for the legislators of Puerto Rico to give authorization to volunteer veterinarians to come in short term to alleviate a problem which plagues and humiliates the island?

Can we get enough Puerto Rican vets to volunteer to supervise the projects? Respected island rescue groups plead for animal control through sterilization. Why is it that when groups contact the professional organization of veterinarians in Puerto Rico they receive no response?

If the veterinarian’s organization will not address this issue with the rescuers, what can we do? Should we begin an organized effort to sit in the meetings of the legislature until the issue is addressed?

Do the Puerto Rican vets belong to a larger organization? Will the larger community of veterinarians require them to address the problem?

I imagine that the veterinarians of Puerto Rico have legitimate concerns which should be addressed on this topic. I imagine because there is no discussion. The rescue groups have been begging for this discussion.

As the Chairman of the Sterilization Committee of FOICCA, the certified Animal Control Officers of the island, I will be sending a letter to the Colegio de Veterinarios to open a dialogue. It is my fondest hope that the rescue groups have somehow been remiss in their approach; that our veterinarians will discuss animal control with another duly authorized group of professionals.

We prefer not to explore other options.

1 comment:

  1. What an eye opener. Politics are everywhere. I am guessing a lot of the problem is funding. Not many are willing to donate their time, let alone pay for any expenses involved in working with the dogs. Even in this country rescue groups have trouble finding veterinarians to work with them and give them even discounted services on stray animals. No one wants to foot the bill. Is funding available for potential sterilization programs? Is there a veterinary college on the island? Wouldn't it be great to have a veterinary college involved in a sterilization program? New veterinarians in need of surgical experience sterilizing island dogs under guidance from experienced veterinarians... Seems it would lead to more than two beneficiaries. More experienced veterinary graduates, island dog population control, ect.