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The poor chained dog

Just before the 2012 holiday season began, we woke up to discover that a neighbor in our street had brought in a dog, and chained it up in front of his house. The chain was short so that the poor dog could not reach the sidewalk—he was exposed to cold, rain, and anyone passing by.

This is our dog, Rex. He has never been chained up and we treat him like the King he is!

We are not meddlers in any way. However, when an animal is abused, Jim, Matthew and I get very upset.

We discussed this issue with our vet, Dr. Rafael, an animal lover himself. He told us, “You can call the police and they will come to see what is happening to the dog.”

Someone else in our neighborhood had already done that, and the police did come twice to owner’s house, to check on the status of the dog. With the arrival of the police, the owner unchained the dog, and showed the police a small jacket the dog could wear during the cold nights. Jim sat outside our front porch, with our dog, Rex, by his side, and kept an ongoing diary of the players involved. He never saw the owner put the jacket on the dog, or pay any attention whatsoever to the poor dog.

“Maryann, this fella with the chained dog rents the house from the fella next door, the guy with them there 2 fancy dogs,” noted Jim.

“How do you know that?” asked a concerned Matthew.

“Well, I see the dog guy comin’ over to clean the poop of the chained dog. Now, who in tarnation is gonna to do that, if he ain’t the owner?” fumed Jim.

“What are you going to do Jim; we have to feed that dog?” I said.

“Well, I am gonna talk to that dog fella, first—the one with the two dogs,” said Jim.

“I’ll be right back.” Jim came back, in a good half hour.

“Well, what happened Jim?” Matthew and I asked.

“I told the dog guy that it was cruel to see a dog chained outside…he said he has his two dogs kept outside as well. No go or sympathy with the dog guy,” said a frustrated Jim.

“So now what? We’re not gonna sit around and do nothing.” I said.

“Tonight, we’re gonna feed the dog!” said Jim.

“Action at last!” I clapped.

“What time Jim?” asked Matthew.

“Late.” answered Jim.

Using our own dog, Rex’s food, of dry and wet food, we waited. Matthew came out of his bedroom, all dressed in black.

“What are you doing’ dressed up like some ninja?” asked Jim.

“Ah, so no one will see me,” grinned Matthew.

“Haven’t you learnt after living in Mexico, that the neighborhood has eyes?” said Jim.

“Good for you Matthew. You go right ahead. I hope the neighborhood will be watching!” I said.

Late in the evening, with just the streetlights shining down on us, we walked to the house, where the poor dog was chained. Jim threw some dog biscuits to kept the dog’s attention. We used the same ones that we get for Rex.

I had mixed up some dog food with what we give to Rex. Next, Jim threw the dog food that I had prepared, on a Styrofoam plate, as near as possible to the growling dog. The neighbor’s two huge dogs started barking up a storm, and began jumping up and down on their chain link fence. Then they calmed down.

“These two dogs know my scent, we always walk past them. Rex is always the calm one. Time to go guys!” said Jim

In less than a minute, the chained dog had eaten everything and looked up for more food. “Wow, that was quick; poor fellow was starving!” I said.

We continued to feed the chained dog every night. One evening, another of our neighbors, Jesus, showed up, with food and a blanket for the chained dog. This was good news!

“My daughter went over to talk to the owner, but he refused to put the dog in the back garden. She called the police,” said Jesus.

“It is painful to watch this old dog suffer like this,” said Jesus.

I stayed out of the conversation, and let the men talk. It was wonderful to see that we had neighborhood support!

About 10 days later, the dog was gone! The neighborhood pressure had made it difficult for the owner to carry on his cruel behavior.

I had prayed so hard for some kind of law against animal cruelty in Mexico, and one morning, Jim came in and informed me of the good news. As far as we are concerned, this law, even though it is valid only in Mexico’s Federal District (Mexico City) is a great first step. It will cost perpetrators of animal abuse to think twice, before they decide to torture them. Now we all have to push for the law to be adopted in Baja California, and throughout Mexico.

Here is the information Jim received over the Internet concerning the law:

“MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico City lawmakers have approved prison terms for animal cruelty, previously considered a civil offense sanctioned with fines and detentions.

The capital’s legislative assembly unanimously agreed that people who intentionally abuse and cause animals harm will face up to two years in prison and pay up to $500. If the animal is killed, they can face up to four years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

Antonio Padierna, president of the assembly’s law enforcement and justice committee, said late Friday that if animals are killed for food, the death must be quick and not cause pain.

The lawmakers agreed current administrative laws weren’t doing enough to end animal cruelty. In Mexico City, animals are sometimes killed by being burned, beaten or shot.

Here is the information straight from Mexico City for our Spanish-speaking friends:

¡Victoria! ¡En D.F. se castigará con cárcel el maltrato y asesinato de animales!

El 28 de Diciembre, la Asamblea Legislativa del Distrito Federal aprobó por unanimidad la reforma al Código Penal de la entidad, que ahora reconoce y tipifica como delito, los actos de maltrato y asesinato perpetrados hacia animales. ¡La capital mexicana ha sentado un precedente histórico en el país!

Esta resolución es un evidente gran avance en materia de Derechos Animales, y el Distrito Federal es la primer entidad mexicana que tipifica el maltrato y crueldad hacia los animales, como un delito, estableciendo que se castigará con cárcel a quienes lesionen o maten animales domésticos y ferales.

Las penas previstas en el Código Penal para el Distrito Federal, por maltratar animales, contemplan de seis meses a dos años de prisión y multas de cincuenta a cien días de salario mínimo vigente; estas medidas pueden aumentar hasta la mitad, si las lesiones causadas ponen en peligro la vida de la víctima. Quien asesine a un animal podría pasar de dos a cuatro años en prisión, y pagar una multa que oscila entre doscientos y cuatrocientos días de salario mínimo vigente; esto también puede aumentar si a la víctima mortal se le infligió un grave sufrimiento.

AnimaNaturalis Internacional aplaude este significativo avance, que ha sido resultado de un trabajo conjunto entre activistas por los Derechos Animales y legisladores; los primeros, realizando campañas informativas y educativas que progresivamente han colocado a la Defensa de los Animales como un tema de interés para la sociedad, y los segundos atendiendo a la urgente necesidad de proteger a los animales, desde las leyes, códigos y otros ordenamientos jurídicos.

AnimaNaturalis en México agradece el apoyo brindado por su equipo de abogados, encabezados por los licenciados Arturo Berlanga y Verónica Valladares.

Y aunque sin duda éste ha sido un logro que puede impulsar otros semejantes, en las demás entidades de México, es necesario atender a que el nuevo Código Penal para el Distrito Federal no contempla sanciones para quienes dan un trato inhumano a los animales explotados y exterminados en granjas industriales, rastros, mataderos, laboratorios de experimentación y vivisección, granjas peleteras y curtideras, y espectáculos; como tampoco se prevén penas por actos de crueldad hacia animales actualmente considerados “plaga”.

Todos los animales, sin excepción, merecen protección legal y el reconocimiento a sus derechos básicos: vivir, ser libres, no ser torturados y no ser considerados propiedad. Si bien es positivo que en el Distrito Federal se haya dado un avance en beneficio de los animales domésticos y ferales, es indispensable motivar a los legisladores a dar muestra de avances idénticos considerando a todos los demás animales, en su mayoría aniquilados para consumo humano, experimentación, espectáculos y vestimenta.

Es muy importante que envíes una carta a los legisladores involucrados en este logro, y les manifiestes tu interés por que también velen por el bienestar de todos los demás animales.

Puedes basarte en el siguiente texto modelo:

Dip. Antonio Padierna Luna, Presidente de la Comisión de Administración y Procuración de Justicia de la ALDF;
Dip. Olivia Garza de los Santos, Vicepresidenta de la Comisión de Administración y Procuración de Justicia de la ALDF;
Dip. Arturo Santana Alfaro, Secretario de la Comisión de Administración y Procuración de Justicia de la ALDF;
Dip. Jesús Sesma Juárez, Presidente de la Comisión de Preservación del Medio Ambiente y Protección Ecológica de la ALDF;
Dip. María de los Ángeles Moreno Uriegas, Vicepresidenta de la Comisión de Preservación del Medio Ambiente y Protección Ecológica de la ALDF;
Dip. Rubén Escamilla Salinas, Secretario de la Comisión de Preservación del Medio Ambiente y Protección Ecológica de la ALDF:
    Por este conducto, respetuosamente me dirijo a cada uno de ustedes, felicitándoles y agradeciéndoles su valiosa labor de análisis y dictaminación de la Iniciativa con proyecto de Decreto de reformas y adiciones al Código Penal para el Distrito Federal, habiendo hecho posible la tipificación como delito del maltrato, la crueldad y el asesinato de animales domésticos y ferales.
Esta reforma aprobada en la Asamblea Legislativa del D.F., representa un significativo avance en materia de Derechos Animales y ha sentado un precedente histórico en México, que de antemano esperamos impulse la consecusión de avances semejantes en todas las demás entidades del país.
No obstante, es importante que como legisladores, atiendan también a la situación de los animales que son explotados y exterminados a millones, para consumo humano (granjas industriales y de acuicultura animal, rastros y mataderos), experimentación, espectáculos (tauromaquia y circos) y vestimenta (granjas peleteras y curtideras); así como de los animales en situación de calle y considerados “plaga”.
Todos los animales, humanos y no humanos, poseemos capacidades moralmente relevantes: sentimos placer, dolor, miedo, estrés, angustia, y nos interesa procurarnos estados de bienestar. Por ende, respecto a los animales no humanos, la protección que de sus derechos establecen las leyes y otros ordenamientos jurídicos, debe ser la misma; no excluir a otras especies que injusta y erróneamente son concebidas como “recursos” a disposición de la humanidad. Y en este sentido, la labor legislativa es crucial.

5 comments to The poor chained dog

  • Alan

    My wife and I are flying into Mexicali on Monday the 28th in the afternoon and were wondering if you two would like to meet us for a coffee at your favorite coffee house. I don´t know how to e-mail you from here, but you could e-mail me. Alan and Dipna

  • admin

    Thanks for the encouraging information.
    God Bless,

  • Alan

    For many laws that either went federal or that some or many states introduced in Mexico usually come first from DF, Districo Federal [Mexico City], not always but gebnerally this type that affects non regional interests. If this law is useful it will be a prototype. Jalisco seems to have passed the law also last month, but this is easy to confirm. Alan

  • Stefanie

    It would be a good tourist booster if Baja California legislators were to pass the same kind of bill too?

    There has to be someone to bring attention to animal cruelty?


  • admin

    Thanks for the info. We had never seen the animal control pickup truck, nor had we known of this service in Mexicali. I visited the site, and will put a link in from our site. Thank you so much for the useful information.
    God Bless,

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