Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dog Poisoning: WAKE UP Belize and join the rest of us in the 21st Century!

I am disheartened to write this entry, especially after such a wonderful 2 weeks in our favorite place on earth. If you've read my blog at all you will remember reading about local dogs that would visit us at our condo. These dogs for the most part have homes and owners but a dogs life in Belize is very different than in the US. Especially now that the Belizean government has decided to wage war on dogs as though they are rats or other rodents. They have undertaken an "eradication" process using meatballs tainted with Strychnine. Here's the run down on strychnine via Wikipedia;

Ten to twenty minutes after exposure, the body's muscles begin to spasm, starting with the head and neck in the form of trismus and risus sardonicus. The spasms then spread to every muscle in the body, with nearly continuous convulsions, and get worse at the slightest stimulus. The convulsions progress, increasing in intensity and frequency until the backbone arches continually. Convulsions lead to lactic acidosishyperthermia and rhabdomyolysis. These are followed by postictal depression. Death comes from asphyxiation caused by paralysis of the neural pathways that control breathing, or by exhaustion from the convulsions. The subject dies within 2–3 hours after exposure.

Are you as repulsed as I am? I certainly hope you are. Despite more than 1000 signatures on a petition to stop the poisoning of dogs on the island, the San Pedro Town Council and it's Mayor Daniel Guerrero decided to ignore the voices of it's people - those people who elected them - and impart their dictatorship and barbaric ways. They went out in the night, around 2 am when the people slept, like the criminals they are and poisoned any dogs they saw including 2 dogs that were in the yard of their owners.

Dogs like this;

and this

and this

These dogs all have homes but people in Belize let their dogs run loose during the day. Why not start with leash laws and picking up loose dogs and delivering to a pound where the owner is ticketed for having the dog loose? If no one claims the dog within a week then humanely euthanize the dog. Saga Humane society has already offered to euthanize them in a humane way if no other alternatives are available and no one adopts them. Saga has offered to help with this but the town council has ignored them. Think of the $$ that could be earned towards the spay/neuter program if an owner who wants their dog back must pay a fine? There ARE other ways! Start looking for humane and reasonable solutions!

Here is the news release in the San Pedro Sun today - I might add that the residents that I have spoken to (there are many) had no idea whatsoever that this was to take place.

Are you a tourist that would elect NOT to return to a vacation spot simply because you stepped in dog poop? I'm certainly not! But I'd elect not to return because of the inhumane practice of poisoning and killing dogs!

If you are as disgusted as I am then please take the time to email the San Pedro Town Council at 

This is my letter; 

Dear San Pedro Town Council,

I am writing with complete disgust at your tactics last night involving the merciless and inhumane killing of dogs on the island. We are in the 21st century not in the dark ages! You continue to represent yourself as a third world country at every turn when other options are available to you. Are you aware that the act that you perpetrated last night on these helpless dogs is a CRIME in the US for which you would have been arrested, convicted and put in JAIL?!

To those of you who think this won't affect tourism and money into your economy let me give you a reality check. We have been coming to San Pedro for over 15 years...absolutely love this island, it's people and it's DOGS! We brought back one of our 3 dogs from Saga 2 years ago and contribute as much as we can to this wonderful group. It's also my understanding that Saga has been trying to work with the SPTC in assisting with stray dogs in a humane way. I was also told by a few of your residents that a petition was sent around that collected more than 1000 signatures against the poisoning of dogs on the island. You obviously chose to ignore the will of the people. Is this how you run your government? As a dictatorship rather than a democracy?!

My husband and I just returned from an annual 2 week stay during which time we looked at several very nice property developments to buy for retirement. Not only would our US $$ go into your economy with development and real estate but also the $$ we would spend every year living 4-6 months in your town patronizing your local restaurants, grocery stores, dive shops, tours etc. In light of this barbaric crime (in the US poisoning or harming dogs, stray or otherwise is a CRIME) we feel it would not be in our best interests to purchase property here where there seems to be little in the ways of laws and civility for people as well as dogs. I am referring also to the wave of crimes and burglaries that the police seemingly ignore. I feel as though your government is corrupt and your police force is even more so. The recent crime wave seems to only be perpetrated on expats and tourists and the police seem to care less.

We are now planning at looking at investing in our retirement beach house in coastal Carolina rather than Belize. Let me leave you with this, if when visiting your island a tourist were to step in a pile of dog poo, I can guarantee you there isn't a tourist out there that would condone you poisoning that dog for the "crime" of relieving himself. Stepping in a pile of dog feces won't keep me from returning to your island but your clear lack of humanity and the poisoning of dogs as a result will certainly keep me from coming back. This is all very sad but no way do I want to live in a society that condones this sort of act and runs any way it sees fit regardless of laws.

PLease know that I will be posting this letter on my blog, on Trip Advisor, to my friends that have joined us in Belize or who were planning to as well as any other means of social media that I can until this barbaric practice comes to an end.

If you are as disgusted and incensed as I am please email the town council. If it would affect your decision to visit this island then be sure to write that as well. 

Otherwise this is what we can continue to expect to see:


  1. I lived in San Pedro Sept 2011 until April 2012. I have a dog and she went with me everywhere. Every other dog we encountered ,except one were always friendly. The dogs are part of the island and I met hardly anyone that found them annoying.This is a horrific thing happening where I once thought paradise was. You have good people in San Pedro helping out homeless dogs and cats..this is totally inhumane treatment. And to kill any random dog whether it is homeless or not! HORRIFIC

  2. First off let me say I live here. I'm originally from the States. This is not the United States. There aren't any programs and despite any intentions of SAGA and SPAF the stray dog population is getting out of hand. Try walking your leashed dog down the beach or street without getting attacked by packs of dogs every half mile. If you are so determined to make a change come on down and do it. Spend your time and money as there isn't enough of that here to fix it "humanely". I love my animals and would hate to see this happen to one of them. But that's why I keep it in the gate or on a leash. Not everyone here can afford dog food so they let their dogs out during the day to forage around for food. If you're looking to move here but expecting U.S. laws and attitudes then you are probably better off buying in the Carolina's. The Outer Banks is probably a safer bet anyway.