Allow US based Non-Profit Spay & Neuter Organizations to operate within Puerto Rico
This petition had 12,853 supporters
Puerto Rico is my home - please help me initiate a small change that will greatly affect the lives of so many animals.
THE PROBLEM: Hundreds of thousands of stray dogs and cats, living lives of of sickness and starvation. Out of every 100 dogs brought into the islands sparse and underfunded shelters, 97 are killed. Sadly these dogs are the lucky ones: the life of a stray dog in Puerto Rico is a life of pain. They get hit by cars and left by the side of the road with broken bones. They die slowly from hunger and dehydration. They are shooed away because their mange-covered bodies make them look like monsters.
THE SOLUTION:There are a handful of US-based organizations that offer free high volume spay and neuter clinics. These organizations are willing and able to travel to Puerto Rico and address this problem.
WHAT'S STOPPING THEM? Puerto Rico’s Veterinary Board. It does not allow veterinarians that are not certified in Puerto Rico to practice on the island. The certification process is costly and incredibly time consuming. The Veterinary Board does have the ability to make exceptions to this rule.
WHO ARE WE PETITIONING AND WHY? The Governor of Puerto Rico, the head of Puerto Rico's Government run Tourism Company, and the president of Puerto Rico’s Hotel and Tourism Association. In my time working with spay and neuter organizations in places of need, I have realized that not everybody cares about cats and dogs. Not everyone’s heart breaks when they see an animal in pain. And when that doesn’t affect you, you aren't inclined to do anything about it. But everyone cares about money, especially in places where tourism is a large part of annual revenue. In 2013, Puerto Rico attracted four million visitors. What if even half of those people said, "I won’t travel and spend money in a place that doesn’t value animal life.” I bet policies affecting animal welfare would change.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NnnZbZiy9M *a documentary shot by Juan Agustin Marquez 5 years ago. The number of animals has since more than doubled.
When I was a kid, the stray animal situation in Puerto Rico was a lot worse and thanks to all the local organizations and giant-hearted people down there who face the never-ending feat of helping these animals in a any way they can: feeding them, taking them in, getting them medical care. Because of these people there is a visible difference, but it is not enough. The rate at which unsterilized animals reproduce vastly outnumbers the caring humans who can help them.There are so many places in the world that have this same problem, so many that if you think about all of them it can feel so overwhelmingly sad. The difference here, the reason I am starting this petition, is that for Puerto Rico THERE IS A SOLUTION.
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