Reform Animal Welfare System in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Currently there are thousands of street animals roaming throughout Cancun. People are allowed to beat them and treat them inhumanely without penalty. Only owned animals have minor protections. There are no regulations for the sale of animals nor standards for breeding. The below letter is a proposal to the Cancun Mayor to implement laws which will reduce animals on the street and discourage their mistreatment through strict penalty.

The goals are:

-To create and enforce laws not only protecting domestic animals, but street animals as well including penalties for abandonment of animals.

-To stop the sale of animals in stores, and regulate breeders making a requirement they are licensed and need to renew the license each year with home inspection and inventory of sold animals to reduce abandonment of unsold breeded animals.

-Make illegal betting on animal fights and the training of animals for fights.

-The ticketing, fining, and serving of jail time for law breakers, including the forced payment of vet expenses resulting from animal mistreatment.

-Applying the fines and bails received for local sterilization compaigns for street animals and low income families; also to support the work and efforts of local rescue organizations.

Below is the letter to be sent to the local mayor, Julian Ricalde. It is long, but outlines what needs to be done to prevent any excuses. Sometimes a simple push in right direction is all that is needed. I appreciate your support for those who have no voice!

Date: Every Day of My Life

Dear Mayor Julian Ricalde:

This letter isn’t simply a petition for change, but also a solution in how to gain control over the problem of stray animals. I ask nothing more than just a few minutes of your valued attention and to give you the opportunity to choose either a change in policy or to do nothing – that animals remain highly populated in the streets without protection or any preventative measures taken. It is a very serious problem, and one which is seen and experienced by tourists and locals alike that unfortunately is not under control.

Imagine what people think when they see someone from Cancun beating an animal in public, or a taxi driver going out of his way to run over a cat just because he can. And later once these same people learn there is no support or laws protecting animals? How difficult must it be for them to understand; especially since most all tourists (and some nationals alike) come from places that already have extremely strict laws with severe consequences in place for people who commit such horrendous acts against animals. They think the same way as a vast majority of Cancun residents: That Cancun is a place without conscience; a place where life neither counts nor is respected. If this is the way animals are treated, how are the humans being treated that live in this same place? How impotent the locals must feel to reside here and have to witness these cruel acts day after day and not be able to take necessary legal action to gain control of the situation. Would I really want to return to visit on vacation, move, or invest in a location like this?

Lucky for Cancun and some of the unprotected animals, there are many organizations that rescue these animals; that attempt to sterilize them to prevent their reproduction in the streets. They run campaigns for adoption and the sterilization of the animals, and always ask for donations (and sometimes receive them) to keep doing this extremely difficult job and don’t get a penny in return – not that they’d ask for one. What do they get in return? The satisfaction of having saved the life of an animal who was suffering and in danger and preventing the suffrage and reproductions of others. I am not asking for salaries for their labor; just simply the support of the government to make their difficult tasks a little easier. By providing them with the relief that they won’t always have to rescue animals beaten, bloodied, suffering, and often at the point of death. For them to know if they do see someone beating a street animal or gain knowledge of animal mistreatment, that yes they can contact the police and know the police will take action and teach the people of Cancun there are in fact penalties for people who don’t respect life.

As I previously mentioned, this letter also comes with a proposed solution which is the following:
1.   The Sale of Animals

                We are very thankful for the implementation of the law against the sale of animals in public; however there are still a lot of people that use the sale of animals as a business. They repeatedly impregnate animals for their offspring in order to profit until the animals are no longer fit to produce more offspring. Once this time comes around, the animals, once raised domestically, are abandoned to the streets without their instincts on how to survive outside of domestication and without being sterilized.

We ask that you please put into law a fine/sanction against the publication of animals for sale in the classifieds section of newspapers. We understand that there are people who only want this purebred type of animal, and we also have a solution for this in the next step. Also, we ask to be put into law that stores that sell pets be fined and/or shut down until the situation is mitigated. When stores and private sellers of animals don’t sell the animals, almost always they are tossed into the streets without being sterilized making the overall problem worse. If people aren’t searching the newspapers or stores to buy animals, the odds of a rescued, rehabilitated, sterilized, adoptable animal from the street increases solving the problem of street animals little by little.
2.   Licenses for Breeders

There will always be people who want a particular breed or type of pet, so we ask you to subject breeders to licenses and/or permits which need to be renewed on a yearly basis. By doing this, the breeders will be subjected to taxes and be socially responsible of the animals they are breeding. They should also need to prove they have the proper facilities/space to partake in this activity and aren’t abusing the animals. They also need to register each sale of an animal like an inventory to ensure they are not being abandoned on the streets. Every animal the breeders sell must be sterilized in order to prevent breeders without licenses, and to prevent the reproduction of the animals later abandoned to the streets by irresponsible people.
3.   Fines and/or Legal Consequences for the Mistreatment of both Domesticated Animals with Owners and Animals that Live on the Street Without Owners

Unfortunately cruel people exist – people who don’t’ have a conscience; or maybe had a bad day and feel the need to take control of something, to cause pain to something living so they are not alone in what they are feeling, but without any legal ramifications. Right now there is only weak legal protection against animal abuse for owned animals, however there are many that reside in the street that are without protection and extremely vulnerable. These are the ones that are beaten and kicked for no reason other than existing despite being a result of human negligence through abandonment, lack of sterilization of an abandoned pet, or one that is allowed to roam the streets day and night without being sterilized. Sadly we have seen with our own eyes people abusing animals on the street because they can without consequence. And later, by “luck” some of these animals get rescued and rehabilitated by volunteers who rarely have pocket money for themselves who pay for all the vet bills resulting from the cruelty of some human without a conscience. Not to mention, there are also “owned” animals who spend their days tied up outside of homes or businesses in the sun without any shade, water, or food, with skin infections, fleas, and ticks. Please make sure these animal abusers are responsible for the veterinary expenses and costs of rehabilitating the animals they abused, and that legal consequences exist for people who cause them harm. By having stronger laws, there will be less mistreatment of animals. If people are abusing animals on the street, who will be the next victim? Their spouses? Their children? Prevention is the only way to ensure a safer future for everyone.
4.   Legal Consequences for Betting Houses Both Public and Clandestine for Fights Involving Animals and Against People Who Train Animals to be Fighters

Unfortunately there are still places where people bet on animal fights, and people who train animals to fight to the death in these fights for profit. These same people also use street animals and defenseless animals to train these same aggressive animals that are to be used in said fights. Later, the trainers abandon these animals extremely bloodied, beaten, and almost dead to the streets. We ask for the banning and complete shutdown of all places that allow betting on animal fights, and those who train animals to be aggressive. That these places and people receive severe legal consequences, fines, and bails. Also, when these animals that were trained to fight to the death are of no further use, they, too, are abandoned on the streets aggressive and a danger to animals and humans alike. They are also never sterilized, hence making the reproduction rate of animals on the streets even worse.
5.   Put into Law the Possibility of Fines for People Whose Pets Wander the Streets Off-leash or Tied Up Outside Without Being Sterilized

There are lots of people who leave their pets unattended or wandering the streets free during the day and/or night and they are not sterilized. Pets like this still can mate and reproduce thus making the street animal problem worse. Tell them if their animal will be outside tied up in the shade or wandering around the streets unattended without being sterilized they can and will be fined, and they will need to show proof of an appointment for their animal to be sterilized within a determined amount of time.

The Fines, Fees, and Bails Received for the Aforementioned Shall be Reincorporated for the Protection of Animals and Their Rights and the Funding of a Program for the Sterilization of Street Animals

By putting the aforementioned suggestions into effect, lots of money will be generated by the government which can be used for local programs for the sterilization of street animals, and to support the efforts of animal rescue groups who are constantly rescuing animals and paying rehabilitation costs from their own pockets. The government can certify the rescue programs and reimburse some of the expenses for these groups to continue rescuing animals. The funds can also be used for animal sterilization campaigns not only for street animals, but low-income families to prevent the reproduction of street animals. Little by little the number of street animals will reduce.

We respectfully ask your support to bring change to the lives of those who cannot speak for themselves, and to mitigate the situation of street animals and animal mistreatment in general. The people of Cancun can then feel safer in the city, and visitors can look upon Cancun with respect an admiration thinking, “Yes! Life is respected in Cancun!” As a result children will also learn how to respect life, the responsibility of having a pet as a companion, and even how to help not only street animals, but even people who need support as well. These are lessons that can be used in all aspects of life.

We invite you to take the first step; to bring Cancun as the forerunner of one of the best examples in Mexico as a city that respects all forms of life. Make it a city that can find sensible solutions to problems without violence or murder, so that people can say, “How beautiful is Cancun! Here I feel safe, and the people care about more than just themselves.” That you are the Mayor responsible for the best humanitarian change Cancun has ever seen since its foundation. The future is in your very capable hands, and you have the support of not only thousands of Cancun residents, but millions of people worldwide; especially since Cancun is the most popular tourist destination in Latin American and worldwide. Everyone is watching. Everyone want to know if you are ready to make a change that will go down in history.


A Citizen for Change



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