Photo: Costa Rica's Dog Dilemma - One Million Abandoned a Year and 95% Come from Puppy Mills
Any responsible pet owner knows that owning pets, especially dogs, is a big responsibility. However, in Costa Rica there is a big dog dilemma.
With thousands of puppy mills, so-called breeders, and pet shops throughout the island nation, dogs are everywhere, yet sadly, an estimated one million dogs are released to the streets each year by owners no longer able to or perhaps no longer want to care for them.
Just as in many other countries, dogs in Costa Rica are used as status symbols, given as gifts to children and loved ones, and brought in as companions. However, when the novelty wears off and the dogs grow, often without proper training or space to live, they can become more work than their owners think they are worth, and the dogs are thrown out into the street.
Dogs once welcomed into homes are just as quickly left to fend for themselves on the streets and even given a new name, “callejeros” or “street dogs”.
Animals rescue workers have long urged residents to carefully consider bringing a pet into their home, and to never buy from pet stores, as many of the dogs come from puppy mills that continue to mistreat and over breed dogs, that as many now see just wind up on the streets.
During a recent National Geographic Channel documentary, “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Milan traveled to with Last Chance for Animals (LCA) to take a look inside puppy mills. Lat year, the Cesar Milan Foundation and LCA teamed up to create a PSA in Costa Rica tilted, “Adopt, Don’t Shop.”
See the Spanish-language PSA below.