This July 27 is commemorated the Day of the Street Dog, and more than a celebration, what it is about is to raise awareness so that people adopt and there are fewer animals on the streets.
The Woman Post | Ana Suárez
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The story goes back to 2008 when Chilean Ignacio Gac promoted a campaign to prevent the increase in stray dogs.
It is important to think about the importance of adoption, keeping in mind that this is not for a while, on the contrary, adoption is for life. But what is special about stray dogs?
"All animals are special, but street animals deserve special protection, due to their condition, the vast majority have been mistreated and abandoned," said Catalina Rivera, who at the time led and motivated the Animalista Bench in the Council of Bogotá.
From this scenario, district agreements about animal protection were negotiated, which are in force today, and which allowed Bogotá to be recognized as the city that is friendly to animals. She was part of the team that led the creation of the District Institute for Animal Protection and Welfare.
During its management, the first Institute dedicated exclusively to the protection of animals was launched, this being the first in Colombia and Latin America; in addition to a series of programs focused on the protection of domestic, wild, farm animals, birds, among others.
Among the programs that were created are the Anti-Cruelty Squad, a veterinary emergency program for street animals; besides saving the lives of run-over cats and dogs.
The idea of July 27, Stray Dog Day, is that organizations and foundations and the Institute for Animal Protection and Welfare, lead adoption campaigns so that these animals have a choice of life.
Based on this, Tatiana Barrera, adoption leader of the Animal Welfare and Protection Institute, affirmed that many of the animals that are received are in a vulnerable and very affected condition because they appear in a total state of abandonment.
When this happens, the veterinary medical emergency team is sent, which is in charge of collecting the reported animals. Another program is the Anti-Cruelty Squad. There come to cases of animal abuse. First, the situation is verified and later the animal is confiscated and the person enters a legal process.
"The animals that come to the unit are rehabilitated from the physical and the behavioral, they are afraid of the human being and in these cases, a socialization process is carried out," said Tatiana Barrera.
There is a false belief that stray dogs can be aggressive. In this regard, Catalina Rivera commented that "the condition of abandonment and the circumstances in which they have reached the streets have led many to react defensively, to be fearful and not to get caught so easily. But we cannot talk about everyone being aggressive because it is not like that."
As of July 2, the Institute returns to the present, and in the same way, the adoption and sterilization campaigns in various parts of the city are reactivated with more force.
Various adoption campaigns have been led for many years and not only from the Institute but also from foundations. "It is worth adopting an animal from the street because it changes the life of the animal and humans. For this reason, we must give the opportunity to street animals, because they will be grateful for their entire lives," added Barrera.
"Adopting is not a trend, it is not fashionable... Adopting is an act of love," for this reason, it is important to encourage adoption and social networks play a quite decisive role in this sense because the message is multiplied and the voices get louder.
Catalina Rivera emphasized the importance of adoption campaigns because it is the means for citizens to know that there are animals that need a home, "for people to adopt and not buy, it is important to understand that it is not wrong to do so, but if it is better to give the opportunity to these animals that do not have a home."
Tatiana Barrera is a supporter of this same position of "adopt and not buy," because the presence of animals in the street is reduced, in addition to sterilization, so that animals are not thrown out on the street, or fall into a condition of abandonment. "It's not just about adopting, you have to sterilize. People have to raise awareness that animals are not to reproduce. An animal is a responsibility."