Although Mexico is one of the most pet-loving countries in the world, millions of homeless dogs and cats abandoned by their owners roam the streets in cities and towns across the country.
In Monterrey, Nuevo León, for example, for every pet that lives in a house two more live in the street.
According to Daniel Carrillo, human development secretary of the Monterrey municipality of San Nicolás de la Garza, the population of stray animals in the metropolitan area includes 1.5 million cats and 500,000 dogs.
In an interview with Milenio, Carrillo said that San Nicolás fields 70 reports every week about violence against animals. He thinks better education is needed to address the problem, as well as new legislation that distinguishes between different species.
“We are in diapers when it comes to education about how to take care of animals,” he said. “According to the most recent data, which isn’t official but comes from civil society organizations, there are half a million dogs and a million and a half cats on the streets. The uncontrolled population is bigger than the controlled population.”
Carrillo said that policy towards stray animals can be improved by cooperation between municipal and state governments, and with better resources to diagnose the problem.
An NGO says the banks of the Santa Catarina river, which flows through metropolitan Monterrey, have become infested with stray dogs, as people who no longer want their animals abandon them near the river.
Member Cristina Marmolejo told Milenio that around 500 dogs are living along a 30-kilometer stretch.
“It’s a dump for dogs, people come here and drop them off,” she said. “. . . We need sterilization to bring the numbers down. Now, people just sterilize their dogs if they want to, because it’s not in the law.”
Source: Milenio (sp)