Overwhelming backlash from Dangriga residents and animal rights activists have prompted the Dangriga Town Council to abort a plan to eradicate stray dogs on Thursday and Friday of this week. Some of the comments under the post blame people for getting pets that they cannot properly care for, and then dumping them like garbage to roam the streets. One comment in particular urged the town council to deal with pet owners who neglect or put out their dogs to become the nuisance they speak of. A few have suggested imposing fines upon the dog owners for letting their pets roam the streets. Others who chimed in the discussion pointed to people who do not properly cover their trash bins. While, still others criticized the Council for even considering engaging in the choice of poisoning of the dogs - that is by the use of strychnine, a pill that is offered with meat and when consumed, causes excruciating pain and suffering of the animal until it die. Town Administrator, Francis Flores, explained to News Five today that the responses from the community condemning the exercise were too strong to ignore.

Francis Flores, Town Administrator, Dangriga

"I went on that blog and I noticed comments coming from different sectors of the society, especially animal rights groups and humane societies, and I became concerned as well, and some of the things coming out. I mean it even got political. So I consulted with Mayor earlier and then we decided that we'll desist from such an operation for this week. We took special concerns of animal rights groups and humane societies and what happened is that, I personally believe that, if we would have had an animal rights group in Dangriga or a humane society in Dangriga I don't think we would have taken that route because there would have been a group that we would have been collaborating with so that we could find alternative ways of doing this, right, and we may not have done it if we would have had a group. So we don't have a group here, but when I looked at what people are saying it really struck us and so we decided to desist and stop, stop the operation. We have to start a public education campaign, telling people how to properly dispose of their garbage and to secure those bins because we notice that the bins are not secured. They are just left out in the open like that and even strong winds, even other animals apart from dogs could throw it down and have it spread all over the place. So we'll have to launch a public education campaign to have people secure their garbage."

The Decision to Eradicate Followed Complaints

According to Flores, the plan to eradicate the strays came about after some residents had complained that the dogs had become a nuisance, and asked the Council to take action.

Francis Flores, Town Administrator, Dangriga

"We decided to eradicate stray dogs because of mounting concerns from many people from within the society about the increasing population of stray dogs. And quite a number of people found out that every morning they get up they would see garbage bins turned over by dogs and then the garbage is all over the place and dogs begin to transfer it from one location to another, you know. And it allows the town to really look unsanitary, unhealthy, and so we decided that maybe this is the best route to take. We collaborated with the Public Health Department since we realized that's the agency that we have to collaborate with. So we did so and they were willing to help us because they claim that once it comes from the municipality, normally they would respond. They decided to choose a particular drug or poison."

Marion Ali


Francis Flores

"Yeah, I think that's the name of it. And so they asked us to pay for the operation. So we decided that we will pay for the operation to poison these stray dogs."

Channel 5