You'd think the Puerto Rican government would move immediately to repair the international public relations damage resulting from last year's animal cruelty scandal. Remember? The one where hundreds of unwanted dogs were thrown over a bridge and left to slowly die?
Well, Puerto Rico is taking its sweet time in implementing reforms.
Activists in Puerto Rico who were outraged by the massacre of dozens of dogs hurled from a bridge last year say the government has been slow to deliver on promised measures to protect stray animals from abuse and abandonment.
In response to an outcry over allegations of inhumane killings, the government pledged in December to build shelters and create animal protection units inside the police. Authorities say they are making progress despite bureaucratic obstacles.
But advocates say that dogs are still being abandoned in large numbers, some of them starving or battered, on the streets and beaches of this U.S. Caribbean territory.
“It seems to me that the situation for the animals is continuing basically the same,” said Eugenio Crespo, president of the Animal Protection Federation and owner of shelters in Mayaguez and Ponce.
As for punishment of the animal control company responsible for the massacres...
The owner of the animal control company and two employees have been charged with animal cruelty, but they have denied involvement. A judge has been hearing evidence to decide whether the case should go to trial.
The case focused new attention on treatment of animals in Puerto Rico, which has no pet registration law and little spaying or neutering.
Photo by ElizabethKracht.