Mexicans Debate the Fate of Stray Dogs Blamed in Four Mauling Deaths

The World

A man carries his dog after it was sterilized in Bonfil November 5, 2012. Veterinarians sterilized about 1500 mostly stray dogs and cats over five days in Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Bonfil. Mexico has an estimated population of 23 million dogs and cats, and their potential to spread rabies and other diseases is considered a public health problem. REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Garcia (MEXICO - Tags: ANIMALS SOCIETY)


Authorities in Mexico City have jailed 25 stray dogs accused of the recent mauling deaths of a young couple, a mother and her baby in a local park. The canine roundup has sparked on uproar on social media where some dog lovers are advocating on behalf of the strays at the Twitter hashtag #yosoycan26. Journalist and blogger Jennifer Schmidt has investigated the plight of the hundreds of thousands of strays in the Mexican capital. Schmidt says there is a growing recognition in Mexico of the need to do more to protect dogs. Still, she says the population of strays is exploding, in part because dogs are considered by many to be "disposable." "I have personally found many dogs with collars embedded in their necks that are basically going to die of infection because people put the collars on as pups and didn't take them off," Schmidt says. "I have picked up dogs that have been walking down busy sidewalks in the city with broken legs and people just haven't noticed that the dogs are there. They don't seem to recognize that these are dogs in need of assistance."