Tag: Antemio Maya
Mexican authorities have identified a fifth possible victim in what they say is a string of fatal dog attacks at a hilltop park in Mexico City.
Gangs of dogs had been blamed for the deaths of four people at Cerro de Estrella national park in connection with attacks authorities say occured on Saturday, and on Dec. 29.
On Wednesday, the city’s attorney general’s office said it is also investigating a case involving a 15-year-old girl whose body was found at the park on Dec. 16, mutilated and bitten.
Police have rounded up 25 dogs at the park, including seven puppies, and promised sweeps at other large green spaces in the city, according to the Los Angeles Times.
But animal welfare activists say authorities have been too quick to blame the street dogs, more than a million of which roam the city, rarely attacking humans.
Some families of victims have told Mexican news outlets they believe their loved ones might have been attacked by humans.
Atty. Gen. Rodolfo Rios said Tuesday that the four most recent victims were killed by bites. In both cases, the bites the victims sustained were determined to have occured both before and after their deaths. Investigators found dog hair on the victims’ clothing, he said.
Rios said additional tests are being conducted, and that there were no plans to exterminate the dogs that have been swept up and are now in the Iztapalapa pound.
“The dogs will not be sacrificed,” Rios said. “They will be treated well.”
On Dec. 29, the bodies of Shunashi Elizabeth Mendoza Caamal, 26, and an infant believed to be her child were found in the Cerro de Estrella area. On Jan. 5, the bodies of Alejandra Ruiz Garcia, 15, and Samuel Suriel Martinez, 16, were found in the park in a “semi-devoured” state, officials said.
But some animal activists say investigators have been too quick to blame dogs, and should be looking for human suspects.
Antemio Maya, president of an association that protects street dogs, said authorities ”are making a huge error. They’re generating a climate of hate against dogs.”
(Photo: Mexico City Attorney General’s office)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, Antemio Maya, attacks, bites, Cerro de Estrella, deaths, dogs, euthanasia, feral, fifth, five, Iztapalapa, mauling, mexico city, park, pets, shelter, strays, street dogs, victims, wild
“Experts have established that due to the gravity of the wounds, at least 10 dogs were involved in each attack,” Mexico City prosecutors said in a statement.
Authorities have begun rounding up dogs living in the park to conduct tests aimed at determining if they were involved in the attacks.
In one case, the Associated Press reports, a teenage girl called her sister with her cellphone to plead for help as the attack took place.
“Several dogs are attacking us, help me!” the girl screamed before the call was disconnected.
Despite that, some animal activists are questioning whether the deaths should all be blamed solely on wild dogs, and Diana Ruiz, who received the phone call, still doesn’t believe dogs were responsible for her sister’s death.
“What kind of dog can tear the skin from your whole arm and leave just bone and if it was an attack dog why didn’t it attack her neck?” Ruiz told Milenio Television. “What’s most shocking is that one of her breasts was mutilated.”
“There needs to be a thorough investigation,” she added.
The attacks occured in the Cerro de la Estrella, a hilltop park surrounded by the city’s Iztapalapa district.
The first two bodies — a 26-year-old woman and a 1-year-old child — were found there Dec. 29, authorities in Mexico’s capital said.
The woman, Shunashi Mendoza, was missing her left arm, and prosecutors said that both she and the boy had bled to death and been partially eaten.
On Friday, visitors to the park found the bodies of Alejandra Ruiz, 15, and her boyfriend Samuel Martinez, 16. Both had bled to death.
“It’s not the behavior of street dogs to kill humans,” said Maya, adding that blaming street dogs for the deaths could make life difficult for the thousands of homeless dogs in the city.
“A lot of people get tired of their dogs and they simply throw them on the streets,” he said. “This is going to create a terrible hate for street dogs and that’s going to lead to even more abuse.”
It’s estimated that, in the city of 9 million people, the number of dogs range from 1.2 million to 3 million.
Mexico City Public Safety Secretary Jesus Rodriguez told Milenio Television that the four victims were not dumped in the area as some had suggested. He said all the bodies had bite wounds, and that the bites were inflicted both while they were alive and after they had died. He warned against visiting the park.
According to Maya, the trapped dogs included beagles, Maltese and poodles and most were probably abandoned pets or their offspring.
Experts will test the dogs’ hair for traces of human blood and also test their stomach contents. Authorities haven’t said what they plan to do with the dogs.
Previous attacks by feral dogs have occured in Mexico City’s famed Chapultepec Park, but none fatal. After one attack there, authorities rounded up dogs, spayed and neutered them, and then either returned them to the park or found them homes.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, Alejandra Ruiz, animals, Antemio Maya, bitten, blood, Cerro de la Estrella, child, contents, deaths, dogs, feral, homeless, Iztapalapa, killed, mauled, mexico, mexico city, park, pets, roundup, Samuel Martinez, Shunashi Mendoza, stomach, street, Street Dog Protection Association, street dogs, teenagers, tests, wild