Mérida, Yucatán — To eradicate the proliferation of stray dogs and cats, the municipality will propose a census to count pets in each household.
Fines from 950 to 4,750 pesos and even jail time of up to 36 hours are among sanctions pet owners face for acts of animal cruelty or abandonment, said a city councilman, José Luis Martínez Semerena.
No more than six domestic animals are allowed per household, and under the proposed regulation, residents will require a pet permit.
If a stray animal is reported, the Municipal Animal Control Center (Cenca) will be responsible for picking up the pet. An owner has 15 days to claim the pet, or it will be offered for adoption.
The councilman also announced an initiative to encourage pet adoption.
Martínez Semerena explained that the purpose of the regulation is to promote responsible pet ownership, creating a municipal pet registry, and eventually other services such as vaccines or sterilization.
“We can know the name, age, breed and vaccine records for each pet. In case of loss or incident, the ownership of the animal can be demonstrated before the municipality, through the registration of pet,” he added.
By the numbers
- In 2016, 1,447 dog bites were reported in Yucatán. In 2017, that number rose to 1,711.
- On average, there are six dog attacks every day — or one every four hours — in Yucatán.
- Zoonosis de la SSY estimates that 5,000 dogs and cats roam the streets in Yucatán.
- 2,400 people are bitten yearly by street dogs, according to data from the state Health Secretariat.