A Dog-Eat-Dog World

 

    

Who would think that the beautiful island of Puerto Rico would have an escalating problem such as ‘stray’ dogs? Unfortunately, it is true and the problem only seems to be getting worse. An Emmy Award-winning film called 100,000 directed by Juan Agustin Marquez, chronicles this issue as depicted in the hair-raising and eye-opening documentary. In Puerto Rico, these abandoned or feral dogs a-k-a ‘satos’ are increasing in number and can be frequently observed wandering the streets freely.

How sad is this? Such adorable animals that just need a good home and to be cared for and loved! It’s hard to imagine seeing so many homeless dogs at any given moment just living on the streets fighting to survive every day. Not to mention the ones that are taken and abused. It would seem that they would be better off left to the streets. At least that way, their suffering wouldn’t be at the hands of those who are supposed to be human.

The 100,000 documentary largely raises the awareness of this problem and also sheds light on the volunteer efforts to assist in decreasing this problem. Unbelievably, the government has done little to provide help in finding a solution. In the meantime, the dogs continue to take their chances out on the streets of Puerto Rico. Following the airing of this film in 2010 by director Juan Agustin Marquez, he teamed up with Purina of Puerto Rico to create and initiate a 20 school film tour which allowed students to view this topic and become educated about the seriousness of this situation. As a result, students made a pledge to help these abused animals. The pledge has been taken by thousands: to decrease the overpopulation problem and to promote the proper care of dogs. Here are a few of the points covered by this pledge:

– Educate myself about dogs and think hard about it before having one.

– Adopt, instead of buying.

– Spay/neuter my dog.

– Integrate my dog to my family for his/her entire life.

– Vaccinate my dog and take him/her to the vet when he/she is sick.

– Register my dog with the microchip.

– Bathe my dog.

– Walk my dog on a leash every day.

As you can see, there are several ways that the abuse and overpopulation of animals can be stopped and prevented in Puerto Rico. Most importantly, spaying and neutering needs to be promoted and encouraged. Evidently, communication has broken down in these areas due to a kind of ‘machismo’ mindset that deters the whole idea of controlling the animal population. According to director Marquez, it is crucial that education begin at an early age as to how to care for and treat animals.

Do you think Puerto Rico will ever truly address the growing problem with these stray animals? Or will it continue to do nothing and just remain a dog-eat-dog world? What are some suggestions you might add to this pledge? What other problems do you think exist as a result of so many of these dogs roaming around without any supervision? I know many of you out there are animal lovers, as am I. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please share!

 

 

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