PR dogs

Animal center educators join effort in Puerto Rico

Jan 7, 2010

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Dogs at Canita Animal Sanctuary dig holes into the side of the hill for a place to sleep out of the sun, rain and other elements. Photo courtesy of Helen Woodward Animal Center

By Lee Schoenbart


Unlike Dog Beach in Del Mar, you can't surf at Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico. That's because the beach is the dump-off point where local dog owners discard their pets.

The commonwealth is teaming with 100,000 dogs roaming the streets uncared for, many possibly feral.

At the best shelter on the island, filled to capacity with 600 animals, management is forced to make a horrific decision. Out of the approximately 125 dogs that arrive each day, only three will get to live. The rest will be put to death.

On a mission to provide invaluable educational resources to the island's animal caretakers, and reeducate the commonwealth's people in general about the humane treatment of its canine population, a Helen Woodward Animal Center contingency witnessed firsthand the dire straits of man's supposedly best friend.

In December 2008, HWAC president Mike Arms was invited to speak in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at a Humane Society International-sponsored workshop and Adoptions and Shelter Care conference to talk about change.

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