Thursday, November 30, 2023

Activists rescue 400 stray cats from Acapulco park

Animal rights activists in Acapulco rescued and sterilized around 400 stray cats from the city’s Papagayo Park and has put them up for adoption.

The president of the Animal Rights Activists Union of Acapulco, Almarina Navarrete Ávila, said that with the upgrade to Papagayo Park and the use of heavy machinery on the grounds, the union stepped in to take care of the strays since the government wouldn’t do so.

She said that the municipal council told her that “the cats aren’t costeños” — or citizens of the coast — and “they are in a state institution” and therefore had to be removed. The federal Environment Ministry, for its part, told her that it was not responsible for “urban fauna” in the park.

The cats were removed from the state-owned property and taken to a house loaned to the activists for the purpose of rescuing them.

The location of the aptly named Casa de los Gatos Rescatados del Parque Papagayo (House of the Cats Rescued from Papagayo Park) has not been disclosed to avoid uncontrolled drop-offs of unwanted cats.

So far over 100 cats have been adopted after people from Acapulco and neighboring communities heard about their stories on social media.

Navarrete said in a press release that the union asks “residents to be aware of those who commit crimes against animals when they abandon them in public places or mistreat them at home.”

She asked that regional governments implement programs to take care of urban animals, such as animal wellbeing centers and massive and constant sterilization programs. She said that it is impossible to separate animal from human problems and urged sensitivity to such issues in the implementation of public policy.

The director of The Cat Feral Mexico — which helped rescue the animals —  said that his organization works to address cat and dog overpopulation through sterilization throughout the country.

“We work in neighborhoods, theaters, empty lots, parks, abandoned houses, government buildings, [etc.] because the birthrate is very high and it won’t be solved by killing them,” Diego Franco said.

Source: La Jornada Guerrero (sp)

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