Although the country does not have a statistic of pets, it is estimated that about 15% of them live in a situation of abandonment characterized by malnutrition and physical torture that includes chains and isolation. The municipalities are responsible for establishing regulations for the welfare of pets through training and education to the population on respect for all forms of life.
More drastic sanctions, education and respect for the life of all living beings were the aspects agreed by the exponents of the forum ‘Together care and protection of urban fauna’, developed yesterday in the National Assembly.
Assemblyman Jorge Yunda, coordinator of the parliamentary group for animal welfare, believes that if someone is capable of torturing and harming an animal it is 100% capable of doing it to a human being.
“We can harden the laws, but if you do not change the conscience of each person towards respect for life and the environment, it will not help.”
The metropolitan health secretary in the capital, José Ruales, said that in recent years the urban fauna has been better controlled through 160,000 sterilizations.
However, he stressed that one of the biggest drawbacks is the lack of an exact data on the number of pets.
It is estimated that there are 600,000 pets in Quito because one company animal has been calculated for every five inhabitants; and of these, about 100,000 would be abandoned.
Therefore, in May of this year the first general census will be developed in 16 districts of the District. Small studies were previously done in neighborhoods such as Panecillo (center) where animals were found fed by restaurant owners and others who have ‘permission to wander’, meaning that their owners leave them with the door open for them to roam the day streets.
Quito was the first city in the country, in 2011, which established municipal ordinance 048 for the management of urban fauna. That establishes the parameters that the holder of an animal must follow to avoid mistreatment; and also fines are established.
However, for the lawyer René Bedón it is necessary to leave the administrative sanctioning regime, which currently contemplates a maximum payment of 10 unified basic salaries and opts for greater penalties.
The Organic Comprehensive Criminal Code (COIP) establishes in Art. 249 a sanction of 50 and 100 hours of community work for those who cause injuries or mistreatment of animals and in the case of death, imprisonment for three to seven days.
Bedón insisted on the need to establish legislation on issues such as veterinary malpractice and custody conflicts – when human couples separate.
Situation in Guayaquil
According to a study carried out last year in this city by the National Institute of Public Health Research (Inspi), it was determined that there are 25,000 vagrant dogs that do not have an owner; but there would be around 500,000 abandoned animals.
The director of animal welfare of the Prefecture of Guayas, Nataly Toledo, said that in the country, four out of 10 families do not sterilize their pets.
He mentioned that in the city of Buenos Aires the biggest problem is the presence of felines, one for each inhabitant and only in one route they found 300 cats in the female prison and 200 in the Naval Base.
“Even though people pretend their interest in animals, only three out of 10 have the intention of adopting and only one is concrete. In six out of 10 people the importance of race prevails. ”
He insisted that attention should be paid to children who mistreat animals. “That violence can be repeated in classrooms and in their homes.”
The abandonment in Guaranda
Lenín Sánchez, member of the private animal shelter Refugia2 de Guaranda, mentioned that in that city there are about 4,000 stray animals, between dogs and cats.
In 10 years they managed to rescue 400 animals and at the moment they have under their care 138 dogs and 12 cats that represent a monthly expense of $ 5,805.
This organization contributed in 2012 to the construction of the ordinance for the municipality to build a shelter to care for the animals.
“Guaranda is one of the few cities in the country where they are not sold on the streets.” (I)