Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica
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What I saw today in Costa Rica!
Today I took Picasso for his neuter. As I parked my car at the vet's office, I saw these two stray dogs marching down the street coming toward my car. They stopped directly in front of me, facing the vet's office. Honestly, the way they marched down the street, I thought they were on some kind of official business! One of the women from the office tried to shoo them away but with no luck. I had to walk around them to bring Picasso into the office. As I entered, the vet walked into the waiting area. I said something to him about the dogs figuring that they must have some kind of special relationship with them, perhaps having fed them or something. Nope, seems they had a stray little girl in heat in the office. (Oh the power of being female!!) Of course that was the only thing these boys were interested in. My vet went on to tell me how he was going to spay this little girl today so there would be no puppies. I commented about how much more difficult it would be doing this while she was in heat but that didn't seem to be a deterrent to him feeling that this certainly had to be done and be done right now. Of course, he is doing this pro bono. I was impressed with my vet.
Strays in Costa Rica are a huge problem. While they may be some of the most well behaved dogs (I assume living on the streets teaches you some manners rather quickly), the reality is that they are all over the place and as well behaved as they may be, they still have the capability of carrying disease wherever they go. It turns out that the government turns a totally deaf ear on the issue and, as a result, any kind of intervention has to be done on a private level. It is really sad to see some of these dogs, the injuries they acquire, and how they often have to beg for something as simple as food (albeit very politely!). This all has to do with the Costa Ricans' relationship to dogs, something very different from Americans'. To them, seeing stray dogs walking the streets is just normal so why have to change it? Yet these little ones suffer so much in the process. It is very heartening to know that there are individuals as well as groups that are looking to do something about it. In fact, this weekend is a big fund raiser by one of the groups looking to raise money so that they can continue in their efforts to spay/neuter dogs. From what I understand, the vast majority of the members are expats, often from America.
Well, I just had to tell someone what I saw this morning. Thanks for listening/reading.
Deborah from Costa Rica