As of 2019, Soledad de Graciano Sanchez, a city in Mexico, has really stepped up their game in terms of animal care. And that care isn’t just reserved for the pets who live in family homes – the kindness is extended to the strays as well.
As estimated by local officials, there are about 300,000 stray dogs in the city who lack standard care. Rather than ignoring the problem, the city’s government has set out to work closely with the locals to come up with a feasible solution to make sure the stray animals receive the care they deserve.
One of the city’s first initiatives introduced was the program entitled, “ComeDog.” Working alongside the local citizens’ response group Respuesta Ciudadana, Soledad de Graciano Sanchez has rolled out 15 food dispensers dispersed amongst the city’s public spaces in order to provide stray animals with access to fresh food and clean drinking water. The dispensers are a simple construction formed out of PVC pipe. They are stocked with dry food – all of which is donated by locals across the city. Respuesta Ciudadana has taken on the responsibility of making sure that the dispensers are kept nice and full, as well as giving assistance to any struggling dogs in the area that they may find.
Mayor Gilberto Hernandez Villafuente reflected on the importance of people cooperating as a means of providing adequate care to the city’s strays.
He said, “Today I realize how many people appreciate this program, we have been congratulated by different means and, well, I am going to ask you to participate and help us to have a very successful refuge.”
The food dispensers are not the only change that the city has brought in. They have also introduced a pet ambulance, which will provide medical care to both street dogs and family pets. The Ambudog, which was recently made public, is Mexico’s first ambulance committed to caring for all animals. Veterinarians with Ambudog offer free healthcare to the city’s cats and dogs – regardless of whether or not they have a home. The medical care provided includes vaccinations, as well as spay/neuter services that will hopefully help curb the homeless pet population.
Dolores Elisa García Román, Director of Municipal Services Soledad de Graciano Sánchez, is hopeful that all this care will eventually see the end of deadly diseases being spread amongst strays.
She said, “There is an infectious picture when the puppy is born and if a month and a half is not vaccinated mainly by distemper or parvovirus, there is a contagion, both in people and animals, then this ambulance will be taken to all the suburbs to attend to all the puppies.”
These two programs are just the beginning. Soledad de Graciano Sanchez officials are looking towards the future and are wanting to develop more ways to make the future brighter for the city’s stray dogs. Their progress has even inspired other cities throughout Mexico to follow their lead and introduce similar programs to benefit their homeless animals.
¡Muy bien Soledad de Graciano Sanchez!
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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