Pets hurled off bridge in Puerto Rico

  1. I didn't know whether this was an up-to-the-minute or animalicious thread..I'm hoping I did it in the right place. This made me cry inside:sad:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071012/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/puerto_rico_pet_massacre

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Animal control workers seized dozens of dogs and cats from housing projects in the town of Barceloneta and hurled them from a bridge to their deaths, authorities and witnesses said Friday. Mayor Sol Luis Fontanez blamed a contractor hired to take the animals to a shelter.

    "This is an irresponsible, inhumane and shameful act," he told The Associated Press.
    Fontanez said the city hired Animal Control Solution to clear three housing projects of pets after warning residents about a no-pet policy. He said the city paid $60 for every animal recovered and another $100 for each trip to a shelter in the San Juan suburb of Carolina.
    Raids were conducted on Monday and Wednesday, and residents told TV reporters they saw the animal control workers inject the animals. When they asked what they were giving them, they said they were told it was a sedative for the drive to the shelter.
    "They came as if it were a drug raid," said Alma Febus, an animal welfare activist. "They took away dogs, cats and whatever animal they could find. Some pets were taken away in front of children."
    But instead of being taken to a shelter, the pets and strays were thrown 50 feet from a bridge in the neighboring town of Vega Baja, according to Fontanez, witnesses and activists, apparently before dawn Tuesday.
    "Many were already dead when they threw them, but others were alive," said Jose Manuel Rivera, who lives next to the bridge. "Some of the animals managed to climb to the highway even though they were all battered, but about 50 animals remained there, dead."
    Rivera said he alerted officials, who spread lime over the animals' corpses to control the stench.
    Animal Control Solution owner Julio Diaz said he went to the bridge when he heard of the allegations, but remains unconvinced that the dead animals are the same ones his company collected.
    "We have never thrown animals off any place. We always take them to our local shelter and euthanize them," he said. "They can't prove that they are the same dogs that we picked up."
    Fontanez said he would cancel the city's contract with Animal Control Solution and said city lawyers were considering a lawsuit.
    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a rule allowing locally owned and operated housing authorities to set pet rules, but it does not grant authority for a blanket ban or mass confiscation, said Brian Sullivan, an HUD spokesman in Washington.
    Asked to comment on the reported pet massacre, Sullivan said: "This sickens me if true."
    Animal rights activists have long criticized the treatment of pets in Puerto Rico, where there is no pet registration law and little spaying or neutering. Animal shelters are overwhelmed and must kill many of the dogs they receive, according to Victor Collazo, president of the island's Association of Medical Veterinarians.
    One organization recruits volunteers to take dogs home with them on commercial flights, and sends between 1,500 and 2,000 dogs a year from Puerto Rico to American shelters.
    At least 175 dogs have been rescued in the last couple of years from Yabucoa Beach, which activists nicknamed "Dead Dog Beach" because of the strays that roam the coast and are sometimes found dead of disease, starvation or gunshots. Similar rescue efforts have been undertaken in the Bahamas and elsewhere in the Caribbean.
     
  2. Okay, I did not read the story.

    The title made me sick enough.
     
  3. ^^Yea, I couldn't begin to read the story, either. How tragic and sad. There are some very very evil people out there in our world.
     
  4. I read it, and REALLY wish I hadn't.
     
  5. The story is actually about people who live in housing projects having pets.

    Now you could probably find people in many places who would say that they should not, but that instead of being thrown from a bridge the pets should be taken to a "shelter" and gassed, in some cases waiting a week first.

    And no, I do not seek to justify, nor do I agree with, the way the public servants in this case chose to implement the policy, not even if it was not they who chose it and they were just following orders.

    Nor do I agree with conducting raids and breaking down doors to seize the pets of the poor.

    But it is just another example of choices, and tradeoffs.

    Tell the story to ten people, and you will find at least one who is horrified that the pets were destroyed, but is adamantly against people in housing projects having pets, and who would indeed consider it superior and more civilized behavior to raid the apartments, seize the pets and then gas them.

    Edit to note that by "choices," I mean choices societies make, not the choice to have a pet.
     
  6. Oh my god. I just skimmed it and I feel ill.
     
  7. How utterly disgustingly inhumane! These excuses for human beings dare to sit in judgement of "pets"!
     
  8. Boggles the mind. Taking pets away in front of kids.. sad. Why this horror? Sometimes you need to take a step back from the rulebook and ask yourself, what does this action cause, a good outcome, or a bad, gutwrenchingly sad one? They should have looked the other way.
     
  9. I skimmed it too and I feel wrenched. :sad:

    It sickens me that people have such little respect and disregard for a pet.

    I find that for most people who don't like animals or don't really interact with them, its really hard for them to comprehend how attached owners can be to their dogs,cats,birds, etc. until they actually experience it. I know my pets are a part of my family and it's heartbreaking to hear this story.

    Hopefully, justice will be served.
     
  10. Totally shocked and digusted.
    Surprised it was in Puerto Rico, when I first read the headlines, I expected it to be in Asia or somewhere where animals known to be mistreated!