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Seeing stray animals is a very common scenario in Latin America, but if we all collaborate, we can make the change.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to hear from a friend or acquaintance who has found a lost dog on the street and desperately posts photos of him on social media to find his family. Or, on many occasions, it is also common to find dogs tied to a tree or several kittens piled up in boxes.
Situations like these are heard on a daily basis in the Latin American continent, and the only answer is that behind each stray animal, there are stories of irresponsibility. In the case of dogs, the majority of those that roam the streets have an owner or had one at some point. As for cats, many are released by their owners to go for walks alone. Therefore, what happens is a direct consequence of people's irresponsible decisions regarding pet ownership.
Many individuals buy or adopt impulsively, without really wondering if they are in a position to assume the responsibility that involves adding a pet to the family, that is, incorporating a living being with feelings (and sometimes some difficult past) that will require so much affection , love and care like any human being.
Faced with this scenario, from World Animal Protection we tell you what are the main causes of abandonment and what we can do to generate a change:
The irresponsible acquisition: Impulsive purchases of pets without thinking about the resources they need and who will take care of them, dogs given as gifts at Christmas, birthdays or Valentine's, and other similar practices have a significant incidence in the increase in the abandonment of dogs.
Owners leaving: It is estimated that at least the 70% of stray dogs or who roam the street have an owner. And this is the result of people who buy or adopt a pet without being aware of the responsibility involved. Shelters around the world are overcrowded, while many owners continue to treat their dogs as if they were disposable. Don't let your cat or dog roam the street alone.
Owners who do not identify their pets: As noted above, most dogs are owned. However, the lack of identification does not allow linking the animal with the person who is responsible for it, both in cases of abandonment and loss. If everyone had an identification badge, the number of dogs living on the street would be drastically reduced.
One of the best ways to show the bond of love and responsibility that you have with your pet is by identifying it. Something similar happens with cats, who are usually very curious and try to escape in many cases. If they have an ID, finding them will be much easier.
Owners who do not sterilize: Sterilization is one more way you can contribute to the control of the canine and feline population. If you find a lost animal, have it sterilized. Taking an animal off the street solves one problem, but sterilization prevents many more, as it prevents future homeless offspring and reduces the risk of disease. To know all the benefits of sterilization, you can read why it is important to sterilize your pet.
Owners who stop wandering: Unfortunately, there are still owners who leave their dogs or cats to damb without supervision during the day. Even when the animal has an owner and returns home at night, this practice increases the number of lost pets, unwanted offspring, and even traffic accidents.
The reality is that the only ones decide with their actions how many stray dogs there are in a community they own. Therefore, if you are thinking of acquiring a pet, investigate what your possibilities of care and make sure that you can truly provide a responsible and thoughtful ownership in the long term, so that your decision ends in a case of abandonment or in a larger number of animals street.
If we all commit ourselves, we can drastically decrease the misery and suffering of millions of animals around the world. Responsible tenure is the key to generating change, and this means not letting our dog or cat go for a walk alone, having it vaccinated, providing the necessary veterinary care, sterilizing it and, in the case of dogs, constantly educating it to avoid bites.
We are all an important part of preventing more animals from ending up on the street. Let's get the message across!
By Jezebel Handel