It should have read "Dogs Beware".
As many of you know, we moved to San Pedro, Belize this past January with our three Siberian Huskies. They are part of our family and we could have never moved to Belize without them. Back in the states Bill was on the Board for both CARA (Community Animal Rescue and Adoption) and Mississippi Spay and Neuter. So naturally one of the first things he wanted to do when he got to Belize was help with SAGA Humane Society.
Our pups love riding around town in the golf cart.
Waiting for their daddy to get home.
In Belize dogs are not always looked at the same way as we do in the states. Most of the local dogs do have homes and owners. Most wear collars and all seem to be well fed. But the dogs are allowed to roam about town and yes defecate on the streets and beaches. A few weeks ago Bill signed on as the President for Saga and had a meeting with the Mayor of San Pedro about stray dogs running the streets. The Mayor said he needed something to be done and Bill asked that he work with Saga and try to find a solution.
We had heard about the way dogs in Belize and other 3rd world countries were poisoned in mass eradication roundups. The last time this what they call "Bait Strychnine" happened in Belize was about 5 years ago when a mass poisoning eradication project was carried out in Belize City. The San Pedro Humane Society heard about it and immediately contacted the Town Council and then Mayor Elsa Paz to have a meeting to suspend further eradication of stray dogs for the time being.
Showing how dogs were poisoned with Strychnine. (Reef TV)
Fast forward to July 9th, 2012. Everyone is waking up and checking their facebook page, like we all do. It has happened again on the streets of San Pedro. 31 dogs were poisoned during the early morning hours with Strychnine laced meat balls. Yes at around 2:00am, these poor defenseless animals were poisoned and then picked up and thrown in the back of trucks to be taken off and buried somewhere on the island. This is being done due to the health issues of animal feces.
What is Strychnine and how does it poison its victim. According to Wikipedia, Strychnine poisoning produces some of the most dramatic and painful symptoms of any known toxic reaction. Death occurs as a result of respiratory arrest. Following the ingestion of strychnine, symptoms of poisoning usually appear within 15 to 60 minutes.
There has been a national out cry to the Mayor of San Pedro to stop this cruel and inhumane treatment of animals. There are ways to humanely euthanize animals. Saga is more than willing to work with the Mayor and San Pedro Town Council to help with the stray animal problem. Most of these dogs did have owners and families that cared about them. Pet owners need to be educated to proper pet ownership and benefits of spay/neuter. Learn about leash laws and cleaning up behind your pet on the streets and beaches in town. The biggest and most important things that we can teach the people of Belize is to spay and neuter their pets. That in itself can help stop the killing of poor and innocent animals. We just have to work together to find a solution and STOP STRYCHNINE POISONING.
UPDATE: Today PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) became involved in the issue of Strychnine Poisoning of the animals in San Pedro on July 9th, 2012. Today at 5:00pm on Belize Reef TV, the Mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero addressed the issue of Strychnine poisoning of the 31 dogs by the Town Council. The original plan was to go out every other night for approximately two months and round up and poison about 200 animals. During his interview today at five, he has agreed to suspend all poisonings and to consult with both Sage Humane Society and the San Pedro Animal Hospital on finding a more humane and ethical way of dealing with the dogs in San Pedro.
Mayor Danny Guerrero suspends brutal dog eradication. (Reef TV)
Dr. Baptist from SAGA explaining a more humane way to euthanize animals. (Reef TV)
San Pedro Animal Hospital
Saga Humane Society