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DISGRACEFUL TREATMENT OF
ANIMALS IN PUERTO RICO
The island is littered with rotting carcasses of dogs
thrown from bridges or buried alive. Page 1

Scores of Pets Massacred in Puerto Rico

USED WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS COPYRIGHT 2007. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

By YAISHA VARGAS and ANDREW O. SELSKY,

TRUJILLO ALTO, Puerto Rico (Nov. 14) - Back roads, gorges and garbage dumps on this tropical island are littered with the decaying carcasses of dogs and cats. An Associated Press investigation reveals why: possibly thousands of unwanted animals have been tossed off bridges, buried alive and otherwise inhumanely disposed of by taxpayer-financed animal control programs.


Three dogs rest in a shipping kennel Oct. 26 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, before being flown to a shelter in Orlando, Fla. An investigation has found evidence of pet killings and cruelty stretching over eight years.



Animal rescuers in San Juan prepare to ship two other dogs to Florida Oct. 26. The dogs were rounded up after an animal control company was accused of throwing dozens of cats and dogs to their deaths from a bridge.



The dog skeleton lies where it was apparently thrown from an overpass. An ex-worker at an animal control firm said thousands of animals were killed in inhumane ways, their bodies disposed of wherever it was convenient.



People in San Juan protest the killings at the bridge. One activist said the government has ignored complaints about animal disposal firms. "There is apathy. No one wants to take responsibility," he said.



Dogs roam a dumping ground for unwanted pets in Yabucoa. Puerto Rico has a poor reputation when it comes to animals. It has at least 100,000 stray dogs and cats and no comprehensive spaying or neutering efforts. Source: AP

Witnesses who spoke with the AP said that, despite pledges to deliver adoptable strays to shelters and humanely euthanize the rest, the island's leading private animal control companies generally did neither.

News that live animals had been thrown to their deaths from a bridge reached the public last month when Animal Control Solutions, a government contractor, was accused of inhumanely killing some 80 dogs and cats seized from three housing projects in the town of Barceloneta. A half dozen survived the fall of at least 50 feet.

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