Thursday, July 18, 2024

Animals kept in deplorable conditions removed from house in San Pablo subdivision

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A total of 69 cats and 14 dogs, rabbits, two turtles, ducks, and chickens, were safely removed from a house in the San Pablo subdivision south of San Pedro Town after it was confirmed they were kept in appalling conditions. The neglected animals were rescued by a move spearheaded by the San Pedro Saga Humane Society (SAGA) with assistance from Councilor Johnnia Duarte, ACES Wildlife Rescue, the San Pedro Police Formation, and a host of volunteers.

The plan to find the animals a better home and free them from the filthy conditions took place on Tuesday, March 21st. All parties involved met at SAGA’s shelter on Sea Star Street and then headed south to the San Pablo subdivision. For days they have been receiving reports of the conditions in which the animals were kept, and people living nearby were very concerned with the situation.

SAGA and the team arrived at a house named Casa Palapadore in San Pablo on the canal side. The property grounds were overgrown with bushes and scattered rubbish. On one side of the property was a two-story house, where an American woman met SAGA personnel on the porch of the second floor.

Immediately, they realized the severity of the issue. The second floor seemed without electricity and running water. The porch was full of dogs and puppies jumping around. Cats were also in crates, and the entire area emitted an unbearable stench. The house owner was confronted and questioned about the conditions of the animals. The owner, who identified herself as Kate, said she was not doing anything wrong and that she fed the animals. She also told SAGA that they had taken the animals to their clinic several times for checkups, but Kate could not produce any documentation proving that.

After assessing the situation, it was decided that the animals could not stay there. The evacuation of animals from the porch started, and when the SAGA crew moved inside the house, the stench of feces and rotten matter was overwhelming.

The interior of the home’s second level, living area, and kitchen were dark, dirty, and smelled putrid. The SAGA crew had to wear face masks when evacuating the animals as they fought the stench. There were large dogs who showed signs of malnutrition and seemed happy when removed from their stinky enclosure; at no time were they aggressive. Some witnesses onsite shared that the animals would go without food for days. They thanked SAGA for helping the animals.

While SAGA continued getting the cats and dogs out of the house, they found three rabbits. Afterward, they noticed two turtles of the Meso-American Slider species unproperly fed. Around the house grounds, they found a makeshift duck and chicken coop where the chickens seemed well, but the duck enclosure with six ducks was filthy. The animals were immediately removed. With the help of the San Pedro Town Council sanitation department, they trucked all the animals to SAGA’s location, where the animals will be evaluated and given treatments as needed.

The turtles and ducks were taken to the ACES Wildlife facilities to be evaluated, rehabilitated, and released into the wild. The ducks will get a health assessment and a much-needed bath to remove all the dirt on their wings and other body parts.

Kate maintains the animals are pets she legally brought from the United States on a charter flight months ago. She said she would clean the place and try to get her animals back. It is unknown if she will face penalties under Section 6 of Chapter 85 of the Laws of Belize that provide fines or a civil action for damages against anyone who ‘beats, ill-treats, over-drives, over-loads or tortures any animal or cause said animal that is ill-treated.’

Foster homes needed

SAGA already has a large animal population and is seeking foster homes for its cats and dogs. With the arrival of these newly rescued animals, the non-profit organization needs all the support it can get. Anyone able and willing to adopt an animal or support SAGA in any way possible can contact them at +501-226-3266 or email [email protected].

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