Monday, September 28, 2009
(Image not mine)
There's a pretty interesting stray animal/human dynamic here. I noticed right away that there were a large amount of dogs that stay on the sides on the roads (or sometimes in the middle of them, which scares the crap out of me). They all are usually a dirty of-white color, large dog of an indeterminate breed - although something related to a German shepherd would be my guess - and a large percentage have what seems to be a plastic tag stuck through their ears.
I also noticed several running around in the gated community, and so I asked HM about it. She said that there has been a huge controversy over their presence, because several attacks have taken place (them attacking people's pets as they walk them, as no one uses a leash here). However, people are very attached to the dogs (several like to feed them and most are rather affectionate) so an alternative was found - one that is used many other places here. There is a center which collects the stray animals and gets them updated on their shots, and then puts the plastic chips on their ears so people know that they aren't rabid. (Although I've noticed several different colors, so I'm not sure if this indicates a year or not?)
So it's a rather interesting dynamic. The dogs that live along side the road I often see getting fed or watered by people who stop at vegetable stands or by the parks. There's also some little structures, doghouses or stands that are covered (for water or food?) alongside the road as well. So, though it's sad to see the dogs, it's also reassuring that they are being treated relatively kindly and that people genuinely like them. I suppose they prefer their lives (I haven't seen any that look like they're starving or terribly diseased) than to the USA's kill centers. Food for thought.
Hope all is well,