According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), 70% of households in Mexico have a pet, and 40% are abandoned after growing up and stop being a Christmas gift or Three Kings Day gift for children in the family.
A spokesperson for Funeral Pet, a company dedicated to accompanying the last moments of a pet, and creative VP of Figallo No Format Agency, Iván “Wacha” Gutiérrez, explained that in Mexico there are more than 23 million dogs and cats living in streets, although it estimated that this could increase 20% this year.
They explained that at least 70 percent of these animals were a gift for Christmas, Three Kings Day or for birthdays, which means that of 10 pets, seven were given as gifts, grew, became a nuisance and were thrown into the street, becoming one of the most invisible populations.
This, they said, also represent a public health problem, among other things, for their waste, and said that in Mexico City it is believed that there are more than 1,200,000 dogs, not counting other species such cats and birds, that are turned out to the street.
A llama that lived in a circus and a donkey that was the attraction of a restaurant to generate business had the same luck and were found in vacant lots awaiting death, so it is not just abandoned dogs and cats, but a problem that has to do with the awareness of the care of animals.
A program promoted by Funeral Pet, Animales de la Nada, seeks to educate children on animal care from an early age through the publication of a book with 10 true stories of rescue animals, stories designed for children, but show the reality, said Figaro CEO No Format Agency, Vieri Figallo.
He added that the true stories selected will be written in the form of a children’s story by writers such as Libya Ortiz, Aydeé Bravo and Carlos Camaleón, to mention only a few, and will be illustrated by artists such as Tabata Bandin, Aaron Martinez and Alex Arizmendi, among others.
“We are returning to a format that is increasingly lost, which is a book, today, with digital times, can not replace a family moment in which parents read stories to their children, which can be touched and smelled, so the initiative ‘Animales de la Nada’ is not only a social campaign, but also a cultural one.”
The leading characters of the book that seeks to combat animal abandonment and bring children closer to reading will include the story of Lobo, a long-lived armadillo found on a road, as well as the llama.
Lobo is a Wolf / German shepherd mix that became a problem for his owners as he grew, so he was abandoned in Mexico City. Although he retains his feral characteristics, Lobo now lives with a woman who through love and patience has become his best friend.
Although the creators agreed that they are still in a process of selecting the stories, it is hoped that with this material, children will be learning the value and importance of companion animals, and get closer to reading.
The initiative, said Gutiérrez, seeks to celebrate life and create awareness regarding the adoption of pets, and according to figures from Homo Veterinarius, even though 42.9% of people do not consider the breed when deciding to have a pet, 40.6 percent buy dogs of some specific lineage.
He explained that some of the reasons for the abandonment of animals lie in massive reproduction, because there is no culture of sterilization, coupled with the lack of regulations for clandestine breeding grounds, where many pets are also born, usually in conditions that do not consider their welfare.
“It is already a very big problem, what we wanted to do was try to revert it through awareness, and since it is difficult to explain these issues to an adult person, we believe that values are instilled from children,” said the creative.
Hernias, mutilations and blindness are some of the effects of street animals. In this sense, it is common that in some parts of Mexico the practice of bathing the animals with gasoline and then burning them is still carried out.
There are a large number of associations dedicated to canine adoption; however, many do so with their own resources, which limits attention to this problem. For this reason, the project managers explained the initiative ‘Animales de la Nada’ seeks to provide a tool to mitigate this issue through children, who from early ages can be taught to value the lives of animals, as well as the importance of adoption .
Values such as animal protection should be encouraged from an early age in order to gradually eradicate the problem, they said.