The Saga Humane Society of San Pedro is working arduously on addressing the over population of dogs on the island. The number of complaints about stray dogs and the all the unsanitary conditions they leave behind is high once again but the Humane Society is looking at stronger methods of addressing the situation.
Residents have been complaining to the San Pedro Town Council and to the Saga Humane Society about the problem of dogs defecating in public and in front of businesses. The majority of offenders are pets that have owners who allow them on the streets without a leash or supervision. Saga indicates that their personnel have rounded up some of these dogs in the past, but say that the pet owners pay their fine and pick up the animals, but days later they still keep their pets unsupervised and on the streets.
This situation is very problematic and forcing the authorities to take major action which may possibly lead to the euthanizing of the animals immediately. In order to avoid such cruel acts, the Humane Society and the Town Council are working together to enforce laws and fine those who break the laws.
“Owners need to be made aware of their responsibility and potential fines under the law,” stated Colleen Creeden of Saga Humane Society. “We need to educate and impose laws to see a change; for this reason we are implementing the ‘Scoop the Poop Campaign’. We are willing to work with the SPTC and the business community and have signs made available for printing to be posted in front of their establishment. We are encouraging residents to take photos of repeat offenders so tickets can be issued in regards to the Belize Law – Dog Act and the San Pedro Dog Control Orders by the SPTC.”
Saga started up dog round ups last year where they collected 180 dogs off the street of which 99 were euthanized. Just this year through the end of August a total of 175 have been rounded up and 82 have been euthanized. According to Creeden, in order to address the problem which the island faces, the dog population must be addressed first and foremost as there is an estimated total of 6,000 dogs on the island of Ambergris Caye.
So what do we do with so many dogs on the island, many of which are homeless and problematic? Saga says that spaying and neutering is the way to go. For this the Saga Humane Society has embarked on another SNIP-a-thon. The Humane Society is hosting two different visiting veterinary groups to hold free spay/neuter clinics for low income residents of Ambergris Caye. The goal is to sterilize over 300 island pets during the month of October.
Helping Paws Across Borders, a team of 15 including Veterinarians, Vet Techs, and dog trainers are on the island and have been working on spaying/neutering pets since Monday, October 7. This group’s focus efforts are on the neighborhoods of DFC, San Juan and Downtown. Because of limited space at the Saga HS clinic, a MASH (Mobile Animals Surgical Hospital) type clinic was held in the DFC area. This was done to allow the medical teams to be closer to the animals and save the time and expense of transportation to the Saga HS clinic.
Hopkins Humane Society will be in San Pedro Oct. 18-21. They will be bringing a team including veterinarians and vet techs. This group will focus on San Mateo. More details to come.
Saga encourages all residents to come out and get their pets spayed/neutered. Dogs and cats that have been spayed/neutered live happier, healthier and longer lives. This is also an effort to control the stray population on the island. By sterilizing pets, this effort will help the community take the necessary steps to control the over population of domestic animals on the island. So come on out and remember, It’s Hip to Snip!