A Mexico City politician is calling for a census of the city’s street dogs.
Local Deputy Rebeca Peralta León believes counting the dogs is the first step in providing care to the street animals and reducing health risks for citizens.
“We must urgently assess the street dog population in order to design strategies that allow us to prevent any health hazards for the inhabitants of the city,” Peralta said, citing data compiled by the Secretariat of Health that says 16,000 to 18,000 people are bitten by street dogs every year.
She estimated the city’s street dog population to number 1.2 million, and observed that some 22 million dogs live in the entire country.
But Peralta claims that only 30% of dogs are cared for by their owners. Another 30% are “community dogs,” cared for by neighbors and the remaining 40% are street dogs that have been left to fend for themselves.
“We must care for this population of street dogs . . . and give them proper care and a life free from physical abuse and lack of nourishment . . . .”
In April the city’s Legislative Assembly authorized the creation of an animal care agency to develop strategies around animal control.
Earlier in the year, 60 million pesos were allocated to build and equip the city’s first public animal hospital, to be located in the Iztapalapa borough.
As of March, Peralta said, the Secretariat of Health had vaccinated 262,531 dogs and cats in the 16 boroughs of the city.
Source: Milenio (sp)