Saga Humane Society quickly went to action after hearing word on the street of a planned dog eradication (poisoning) program. Ambergris Today received letters and phone calls from outraged residents who object to this type of stray dog eradication. Saga’s quick action and meeting with Mayor Paz averted the dog poisoning to take place and is now working hand in hand with the Town Council to tackle the problem.
Everyone knows that dog eradication (poisoning) is mostly carried out by the San Pedro Town Council and many have agreed that it is done in an inhumane way. Stray dogs have been a problem on Ambergris Caye for many years and in the past the San Pedro Town Council has carried dog eradication with the permission granted by the Ministry of Health.
There have been many reasons why this program takes place, mainly due to the nuisances to the community from overturned garbage receptacles with time and money being spent for the cleanup. Stray dogs are also known for biting and attacking tourists and children on their way to school.
Dog eradications always cause a stir of emotions within the community as some agree with the poisoning, while pet advocates believe it is an inhumane way of dealing with the problem. The stray dogs are given a piece of raw or cooked meat with poison (strychnine – a highly toxic pesticide which causes muscular convulsion and eventually death through asphyxia or exhaustion).
The Saga Humane Society has always been against the dog eradication program as they believe in euthanizing a pet in a more humane way. The San Pedro Town Council and Saga members held several meetings in regards to addressing a humane way of dealing with stray dogs and, if needed, animal euthanasia.
The San Pedro Town Council has given Saga the full authority on dog catching, pounding and working on a fee system to charge owners once dogs have been impounded by Saga. This system will replace the dog poisoning system carried out in the past by the Town Council and health officials.
Public education is very essential and Saga will start communication with the public through public service announcements on local media, including Coral Cable Vision, Reef Radio, Ambergris Today and of course the Morning Show.
Saga is currently working on a structure of impounding, adopting and a humane way of euthanizing dogs and will announce its plan at a later date. They encourage residents to report of incidents which include that of excessive dog barking (noise) and dog biting. They have forms which can be filled and can be done completely anonymous. Saga does take time to look at every case they are called upon.
“The meeting with the mayor was very positive; she was very helpful and a pleasure to work with,” commented personnel of Saga. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to step in and stop these harsh and inhumane ways to kill stray dog. There are more humane ways to tackle this problem and Saga is willing to take the challenge.”
Pet owners are asked to keep their pets in a fenced yard or properly tied in their properties. Saga also urges dog owners to practice scooping after their dogs go pooping. To report any problematic dog, feel free to call Saga at 226-3266 and they will be glad to help out.