There are two kinds of dogs in Buenos Aires. The well-groomed canines who live in apartments, eat more meat than their owners, and enjoy thrice-daily jaunts to parks that have special dog rinks installed in them, and then there’s an underclass that makes do the best they can on the tough streets of the city. At long last, the latter are having their day. Berazategui, a municipality in Buenos Aires Province, has launched a novel initiative that will see all street dogs registered and identified, so their health, care and movements can be monitored by the municipal veterinary clinic.
The 10-day old initiative involves tagging all dogs with a painless circular device in their ear, which has a registration number. According to the director of the clinic, Luis Martínez, this way, “we (the clinic) have a record so that we can easily identify their situation: when they were desexed, vaccinated and wormed.”
The tag, not unlike the plastic ones put on livestock, is important because, unlike a chip, which is not visible to the naked eye, it can be easily recognized. “Thanks to this, if anything happens to the animal, the neighbors can get in contact with the Veterinary Clinic, give us the number of the tag and we’ll have all the information we need,” said Martínez.
Dogs that are taken to the clinic will be desexed, vaccinated and wormed. The clinic will also take their basic details – age, sex, characteristics – so that, once they are in a good state of health, they can be profiled on the clinic’s website and eventually adopted out to local families.
The veterinary clinic (which has the cutest website on earth) is relatively new – it was founded in 2013 and provides medical attention to both pets and people who have suffered an animal bite. With the information the clinic obtain via the new initiative, they also hope to be able to better monitor the canine population – estimated at 1 for every 4 people – in Berazategui.
It’s not just for the dogs, of course. In September, a 57 year old woman died after being “torn apart” by a pack of at least five dogs in the Berazategui cemetery. It is believed that some of the dogs were street dogs.
So, save a life (or two), head to the clinic website and check out the cutest thing on the internet since that miniature pig wore gumboots.