If you are new to the country, or this is your first visit, you are sure to notice the street dogs, scavenging for food and looking for a little love.
After 20 years in the country, I am still not immune to this; some dogs are seen in worse sorry state than others. Many have become suspicious of the human being and do not give us the grace of their trust, and have become aggressive, mostly they are scared and nervous when we try to approach them.
Equally horrendous is the way some owners treat their loyal pets: Tied up in an already small and dirty fenced yard or in a garage, tined up, with a chain so short that it does not allow them to move, with a collar or a string that cuts into their skin.
Such is the fate of many dogs in this country.
Sure, there are the lucky ones who found a good home, and when they are good, they are very good. Those who love their pets here cannot do enough for them. Sadly, this is not the norm; people here still see dogs as a working instrument, rather than a friend, and usually the poor animals never see the inside the house as they are kept outside, for « guarding », however small or unfit.
Some tourists fall in love, on a beach, one day, an close encounter in paradise, an abandoned little fellow struggling to stay alive, and they go through the demanding and costly procedures in order to take them back home. These are the lucky ones. For many, such a fate only happens in their dreams.
There are many organizations here working around the clock who are rescuing the dogs, cats and any other kind of animals who need a break from a short and painful life. Many work as volunteer and depend on donations to survive. The Animal Refuge in San Rafael de Heredia has been helping animals for more than two decades, and also has a spraying program for those who cannot afford the fees. ANPA is yet another adoption association, working hard to educate people and help spay cats and dogs.
Education is no doubt the key; it seems that more often than not, the owners are unaware of the harm and suffering the animals are going through.
You may encounter a four legged friend along the way, would you take him or her home?
|Written by Mireille|
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