With the financial support of Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana, the Humane Society de Tijuana [HSTJ] was able to co-sponsor a statewide conference along with The Association for the Protection and Care of Animals. The event was held in Tijuana on 7 May 2011 and attended by 45 persons representing eleven animal welfare/rescue groups from the state of Baja California, Mexico. Organizations from Ensenada, Mexicali, Rosarito, Tecate, and Tijuana were represented.
The focus of the conference was to 1) address the urgent need to reform administrative policies for dog pounds 2) identify and push for improvement of physical conditions in those facilities 3) urge the cities to conduct more spay and neuter programs to lessen the need to impound and euthanize animals 4)explore solutions that will ensure that pounds use humane drugs for euthanasia and no longer use electrocution 5) promote private organization spay/neuter programs- recognizing that spay/neuter is the only real solution to the problem.
[Note to the reader: Most Mexican cities operate dog “ pounds” which are in no way comparable to comprehensive full- service animal shelters found in most American cities.]
While HSTJ supports a policy of “No Kill” for rescued animals, it works to ensure that when other agencies and/or groups euthanize impounded animals they do so in a humane manner.
- The illegal selling of dogs that were not spayed/neutered.
- The illegal supplying of dogs to the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California [University of Baja California] for vivisection.
- The failure to provide sufficient low cost and/or free spay and neuter services to the city and failure to adequately support those private organizations doing so.
- The need to reevaluate the administration of the Tijuana city pound budget and, if as stated by city functionaries there was no budget to support the above recommendations, the pound be closed since the law requires that city agencies have an operational budget and function within the law.
- To stop charging the public for euthanizing animals brought to the pound because of illnesses or injuries for which the owner cannot afford to treat- especially since the drugs are already being provide to the pound at no cost by private organizations and persons. Failure to assist these people means that their animals die a painful death .
The day before his presentation, he along with Humane Society de Tijuana’s veterinarian a medical doctor [MD] and two other local veterinarians made a visit to the city pound where Dr. Rodriguez demonstrated the Luca Foundation formula as an effective, low cost and humane procedure that can be easily adopted by the Tijuana pound just as it has been in other Mexican cities. The veterinarians as well as the medical doctor agreed that the Luca Foundation procedure was better and less costly than the procedure currently used by the Tijuana pound.
Dr. Rodriguez made the following recommendations:
- Instead of using an expensive formula of anesthesia drugs, Tijuana use the Luca Foundation procedure which is painless, humane, efficient, and inexpensive – costing only 11 pesos [only $1 US dollar] per animal.
- Organizations supplying the pound with humane euthanasia drugs need not buy expensive anesthesia drugs directly from the pound or agencies connected with the pound. Instead, they can use Luca Foundation formula drugs which can be purchased from any local licensed supplier. These formula drugs are cost effective and less of a drain on an organization’s budget. More resources for humane drugs will assure the continued suspension of electrocution as the means of euthanasia.
The conference was a great success and it was agreed that the conference participants promote continued state-wide meetings to follow up on the progress of reforms and the promotion of animal welfare programs. HSTJ and the other co-sponsor of the event, AVPCA, were pleased with the attendance and the willingness of the other Baja California groups to continue with this type of united front in working toward animal welfare reforms in Mexico.
As a follow up , the Haghenbeck Foundation sent their findings to the director of the Tijuana Department of Health, the sub-director of the Tijuana Department of Health and the director of the Tijuana pound [Perrera/ Antirrabico] with copies to officials in the state and federal government . HSTJ will be doing periodic reviews and reporting back to the Haghenbeck Foundation. The president of the HSTJ and Haghenbeck Foundation associates have already arranged a meeting in Mexico City with the Mexican Federal government’s chief animal health official and other public health officials to discuss the situation in Tijuana and report their finding.
Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana is proud to have been able to support this activity that is a first in Tijuana. As you can see from this report from HSTJ, the conference was not only a discussion of urgently needed reforms but also included hands-on, on-site education. As a follow up, HSTJ is already preparing for the second phase which will be to have representatives from the Luca Foundation return to Tijuana to speak with professional educators about the need for animal welfare reforms in the city.
See the article in the Baja Times here http://www.bajatimes.com/articlesDetail.asp?sid=2753