Thank you everybody for your response. I do understand that people are poor and that the culture is different in Belize. I also understand there is a overpopulation of street dogs in San Pedro and that that people are trying to cope with it the only way they know. On the other hand it worries me to think about how they kill the dogs. It's certainly not by putting them to sleep. When the resorts offer $100bz to have a dog killed, and any person is allowed to kill a dog...I'm just worried that whoever decide to take on the task killing a don't have the skill it would take to do this in a humane way...not causing extra pain and suffering for the dogs. I also heard that some resorts actually ask for the dog’s head as a proof that the job was done.
I live in Texas and sure we have a lot of dogs here too that has to be put down. I've worked in animal shelters and with veterinarians, and I know it takes skill and money to put an animal down to sleep. I wish we could set up a fund so that we may help the vet in San Pedro..to help with medication, neutering,spawing and when it's necessary put a animal down in a respectful way. I don't think anybody should be able to take the job on just so they might cash the $100bz reward.
I know what you mean, however, it is a different country and a poor one at that. As an avid animal lover it was very painful to see these dogs. At Journey's End there were 2 dogs, both equally as skinny. Everynight the black on sat under our table and of course I fed him our bread.
I live in Houston and I see dead dogs on the freeways almost daily on my commute to work. How did these dogs get there??? They were in the back of some idiots truck speeding down the freeway. I HATE that! The pet population is bad everywhere, we have 3 dogs and 5 cats, ALL were rescues and all have been "fixed". It is heart breaking to see the dogs on San Pedro in such bad shape, but wouldn't you rather help our own here first? Just a thought.... Jill
Elisa, you have a wonderful idea and perhaps more of those who can spur this initiative read these message boards. I plan to donate heavily to the vet on my upcoming trip. Perhaps we are a minority on this issue but it would be great to see the dog problem improved. Thank you Elisa for posting this!
One could visit any town any where in the world and find fault, even in our own town. The world is not perfect. Visitors pointing out the ugly things in my town, are not appreciated, because you have to live here to know what we are doing to correct our problem. It is not fair to point out isolated cases, that could be just a rumor not truth.
Unfortunately, overpopulation of pets is a world wide problem. The key is having your animals spayed and neutered, which is not done most of the time. My father has been practicing veterinarian medicine for 40 years and when I used to work for him years ago, it broke my heart when people had to put their animals to sleep or abandoned them in pet carriers on his hospital doorstep. Hmmm, brings up a thought - dad loves to dive, loves the Caribbean. . .
Your guide had some interesting things ta say. I was curious where ya met him. I hope it wasn't a little scrauny fellow hanging around the boat docks. There are a couple who "hang" around at the boat docks who are NOT guides and just trys to "latch onto" someone. I happened to notice maybe two dogs hanging around Ramones. They looked so comfortable, I thought they were guest. When I am in Belize, I try to suspend my critisim. Not that I'm ever wrong (very seldom), but I've found over and over that my first impression is based on false or inadequate information. I try very hard ta mind my own business until the day I become King. Then watch out.
I think your town is wonderful, the people, the landscape and food is something I'm not soon to forget. Houston is over burdened with strays and neglected animals...its everywhere. So I do what I can in my community to help, donations, volunteer, whatever. My point is, I agree with you about pointing out 1 bad thing and having us tourists harp on it.
Belize has a Humane Society national chapter headed by Dr. Mike DeShield in Belize City. It's an active group with some influential people involved. Does Ambergris have a chapter? If not, it sounds like there are people who would be willing to organize one. They can't do it all, but with a focal point perhaps more could be done. Placencia has a very active chapter that funds (through donations) spay/neuter clinics based on financial need of dog owners. They hold clinics about every six weeks. The key is to address uncontrolled breeding which leads to a stray population and health risks for those pets that are cared for and about.