Some five million dogs have been abandoned to live in the streets of the State of Mexico, according to data compiled by the state Health Institute.
That figure represents almost two-thirds of the 8.5 million dogs estimated to live in the state. The animals roam the streets after being cast off for health reasons or simply because they grew up and stopped being small, cute and fluffy.
An animal rights activist believes sterilization and encouraging responsible ownership are the most efficient and sustainable actions that can be taken to address the situation.
Free spaying campaigns are ongoing but responsible ownership needs to be promoted among the public, said José Luis Carranza of the Citizens’ Pro-Animal Rights Front.
“We can still see people on the streets or in markets selling puppies crowded into cages, without food or water so as to avoid having to clean up after them.”
Despite laws against animal abuse in the State of México, it seems there are none, continued Carranza, charging that dogs are treated cruelly every day.
Being a responsible dog owner entails being conscious that a pet requires a good diet, recreational activities, hygiene, education and even clothing and accessories, not dissimilar to the needs of human children, said a group of activists interviewed by the newspaper Milenio.
“All this represents onerous costs for owners, most of whom choose instead to get rid of them by letting them loose on the streets,” said the rights activists.
Until the street canine population is controlled, the animals will continue to be “violently and painfully” slaughtered in canine control centers, either by electrocution or with barbiturates.
Because municipalities lack the necessary infrastructure to address the problem, the carcasses — an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 — end up in illegal dumping grounds or landfills, representing a health risk for the human population.
Source: Milenio (sp)