Protestors want animal sanctuary to replace Mérida’s inadequate city kennels

Mérida's municipal kennel takes in hundreds of dogs each week. Photo: Sipse
Mérida’s municipal kennel takes in about 50 dogs each week, but has capacity for only 60. Photo: Sipse

Mérida, Yucatán — Animal advocates are asking the city to replace the municipal kennel with a shelter where stray dogs can find sanctuary until they are adopted.

Responding to a reported increase in the killing of street dogs, representatives of the civil organizations Mano Canina, Sanando Corazones Perrunos and Red Animal Yucatán asked the Municipal Center for Animal Control about the possibility of constructing a new animal shelter.

Miriam López, of Sanando Corazones Perrunos, said a city shelter would prevent crimes against strays. Her organization raises awareness of animal abuse in Yucatán.

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“As independent animalists, we want a sanctuary, a shelter or an adoption center here. We want street dogs to have a better quality of life,” she said.

In a demonstration that took place today at the Municipal Palace and at the gates of the kennels, on the Periférico Norte, the advocates reported that the city is sacrificing animals every other day without respecting regulations that allow time for the dog’s potential owner to claim it.

A Sipse news story in 2014 said the center has the capacity to hold 60 dogs, but receives 50 strays each week.

They also complained that the city’s kennels are unhealthy. Many dogs, lacking veterinary attention, are ill or injured, they told a reporter.

Protestors, mainly women, held banners purporting to depict photos of animals suffering in cages, uploaded to social media by an unnamed city employee.

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Spokesmen for the Mérida City Council told Diario de Yucatán that the images were not taken at the kennel, and were uploaded by someone using a fake profile. They also affirmed that the kennel is in compliance with the law.

With the general election coming up July 1, the groups said they will ask mayoral candidates to address the issue.

Sources: Sipse, Diario de Yucatán

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