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PR Pet Massacre Petition

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Petition drive:

We are absolutely outraged to hear of the news about the horrific massacre of family pets in Puerto Rico as reported by the Associated Press on October 12, 2007. Early in the week, raids were conducted in several homes of Barceloneta's housing projects. Animal control workers confiscated dozens of beloved dogs and cats from their families, some infront of crying children. These precious pets were then rounded up and thrown off a bridge at a neighboring town, hurling them 50 feet to their deaths.

We call on The Honorable AnÃ*bal Acevedo-Vilá, Governor of Puerto Rico to do everything in his power to see to it that this atrocity is not taken lightly. We demand a thorough investigation, vigorous prosecution and seek the maximum penalties of jail time and fines to those responsible for this most cruel and inhumane act of felony animal abuse offense as per Puerto Rico's statute cruelty law 439.

We also demand a thorough and INDEPENDENT investigation and bring to justice the city officials responsible for organizing and authorizing a blanket pet ban and mass confiscation which are against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development rules.

We cry for the innocent lives lost in such a cruel and unspeakable manner. Our hearts go out to the poor families of Barceloneta's housing projects whose only crime was give shelter to the desperate strays and made them part of their family. They were guilty of saving these animals' lives and gave them what little they have, only to have their human rights violated and their hearts crushed. This tragedy would have never happened if humane programs existed on the island.

In light of this horror, we hope that the government officials of Puerto Rico will finally take action and enforce strict laws against animal cruelty as well as implement humane programs to ensure that this heinous act does not happen again. Puerto Rico should begin with funding adequate TNR (trap, neuter/spay, release) method of preventing over-population, build shelters for strays and enforce pet registration laws. Such programs are not only legal and humane, but are more cost-effective than hiring thugs to break into homes and massacre pets!

Governor, the world is watching.


Friday, October 12, 2007

By OMAR MARRERO, Associated Press Writer

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico-- Animal control workers seized dozens of dogs and cats from housing projects in the town of Barceloneta and hurled them from a bridge to their deaths, authorities and witnesses said Friday. Mayor Sol Luis Fontanez blamed a contractor hired to take the animals to a shelter.

"This is an irresponsible, inhumane and shameful act," he told The Associated Press.

Fontanez said the city hired Animal Control Solution to clear three housing projects of pets after warning residents about a no-pet policy. He said the city paid $60 for every animal recovered and another $100 for each trip to a shelter in the San Juan suburb of Carolina.

Raids were conducted on Monday and Wednesday, and residents told TV reporters they saw the animal control workers inject the animals. When they asked what they were giving them, they said they were told it was a sedative for the drive to the shelter.

"They came as if it were a drug raid," said Alma Febus, an animal welfare activist. "They took away dogs, cats and whatever animal they could find. Some pets were taken away in front of children."

But instead of being taken to a shelter, the pets and strays were thrown 50 feet from a bridge in the neighboring town of Vega Baja, according to Fontanez, witnesses and activists, apparently before dawn Tuesday.

"Many were already dead when they threw them, but others were alive," said Jose Manuel Rivera, who lives next to the bridge. "Some of the animals managed to climb to the highway even though they were all battered, but about 50 animals remained there, dead."
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