We have all seen a lot of cruelty to animals here over the years. I have written about many instances of my children bringing home boxes of puppies thrown out of car windows and puppies put in plastic bags to suffocate, dogs chained to a barrel and not fed or cared for, donkeys carrying loads that are too heavy with no food or water, hanging grey hounds from trees by their neck and the list goes on. The worst of these atrocities, I think, that I have witnessed here, was a box of puppies abandoned in a parking lot. The local children aged about six had cut off their toes and noses with a razor blade and were driving them around the parking lot like little trucks, removing their stomachs in the process. I stopped the boys and collected the puppies. Here is a picture of one of the puppies with no toes or nose. Because I already had a box of abandoned puppies that were thrown over the bridge I knew I couldn’t take all of them so I went to all the neighbors to ask for help. One restaurant owner said he would take two and I kept the other two. When they were old enough I found good homes for them along with the eight puppies from the box. It takes dedication, money and lots of time to bottle-feed so many animals not to mention the kitten that was left in our driveway which we still have. I am very pleased that we were able to place so many animals but the cruelty or lack of education is astounding even though the education is slowly and reluctantly improving. When I lived in the village the local sport for young boys was to take a piece of bamboo and put a nail on the end and poke the eyes out of the cats. The parents actually seemed proud of Junior for his achievement. Another gem was to wire the animals up with a coat hanger in some imaginative way.
I am glad that animal awareness has improved since I came here because we don’t see so much of the cruelty any more. They still abandon the puppies and kittens though and that goes for the English as well as the Spanish. Because I had so many animals the people, with a conscience, seemed to think that if they dumped the unwanted pets in my driveway they would be taken care of, and they were; but you reach a point where you can’t take any more or find good homes for them and the price of worming and vaccinations makes it impossible these days. I take in way fewer strays than I used to and I guess I have gotten a little harder in my way of thinking. An animal needs lots of love and care but you can only have so many and I have reached my limit.