West Ajijic communities demand the municipality relocate one month-old dog shelter
The neighbors of the La Canacinta subdivisions promised to look for a plot of land where the dogs can be properly cared for and will not disturb neighbors with barking
The meeting was quiet and quick. Neighbors complain about the noise of the dogs, and the bad conditions they are in.
Sofia Medeles/Domingo M. Flores (Ajijic, Jal.) – Neighbors of the residential areas of La Canacintra promised to look for a new piece of land for Chapala’s month-old dog shelter. They want to have the shelter relocated because they can no longer stand the round-the-clock barking of the fifty dogs currently housed there.
The neighbors cited the Regulations for Protection and Decent Treatment of the Municipality of Chapala, which stipulates that it is not permitted to have this type of shelter in residential areas.
They met with Director of Ecology José Jaime Ibañez on July 28 at the Centro Cultural Antigua Presidencia to demand the shelter be moved out of the residential area.They also complained that the animals in the shelter are living in substandard conditions.
«The small cages are only two meters by two meters and the dogs are not allowed to leave them for exercise. The ground is a mess and these poor animals are stressed to the limit,» said one of the residents at the meeting.
They also pointed to the high maintenance and operating costs of the shelter. Ana Luisa Maldonado, the head of the department of animal protection, estimates that, based on its first month’s operation, the shelter will spend a monthly average of 18 thousand pesos in food and approximately 95 thousand pesos on veterinary services – all funds that have to be raised through donations.
José Jaime Ibáñez, director of Ecology, reported that the property where the shelter is located is not a permanent place because of its irregular situation; however, the municipality does not have another one suitable for this type of need. In response to this argument, the neighbors proposed looking for a site to relocate the shelter, which the authorities agreed to.
Until a site is found and the shelter relocated, Jaime promised to minimize as much as possible the noise that the 50 dogs produce when they bark, placing tarps on the outside of the cages so that they do not get disturbed when they see the outside, and to clean the property so that the dogs have a recreation area.
In addition to their complaints about the municipality of Chapala shelter, the neighbors of «Cerro Colorado», announced that they already have begun legal process against Ms. Susan Hillis, who has a private shelter. The neighbors said the process is to force her to relocate her shelter, not to revoke its license.
The president of the Puerta Arroyo reserve, Guadalupe Corcuera, concluded the July 28 meeting by saying that they are not completely happy with the temporary resolution to the problems of the shelter, however, they hope that they can act quickly and effectively, which they will pledge in a letter of commitment they plan to present to the municipality.
Translated by Patrick O’Heffernan