A Facebook user in Motul decided to run an experiment to see if people were interested in adopting dogs in the community.
Cristian González Can posted photos of several dogs, of different ages and breeds, and noticed that only those that seemed purebred received any attention from people looking to adopt.
She published photos of two purebred pugs which attracted dozens of inquiries in just a few minutes. When informed that the dogs that were up for adoption were mixed, interest in adopting them quickly dwindled.
“I find these types of attitudes very disappointing. Many people say they are interested in adopting animals, but in reality, they are only interested in dogs that they think have value because of their breeding,” said González Can.
Mixed-breed dogs, often described by the Mayan word malix, are a common sight on the streets of Yucatán. They are also the most common type of dog to be seen in animal shelters as they are far less often adopted.
According to the state Ministry of Health (SSY), more than 50,000 dogs and cats roam the streets in Yucatán. Annually, 2,000 dogs die in the streets of Mérida, an average of five a day.
Most dogs in Yucatán are not sterilized and only add to the stray animal population. Mérida’s city government and several organizations have taken up the task of sterilizing pets for free, however, when approached many owners refuse to have their pets altered.