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Territorio de Zaguates Under Fire For Alleged Animal Abuse

Photo from Cesarsway.com

Although the approved Animal Welfare Law has not yet received the required Presidential signature and publication in La Gaceta, public condemnation of alleged animal abuse are beginning to appear in the social media.

One such case involves the “Territorio de Zagüates”, an animal refuge that is home to more than 700 dogs in Carrizal de Alajuela.

A video on the social media shows staff kicking and hitting a pack dogs with sticks.

Click for how to break up a dog fight by the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan.

Álvaro Saumet, director of the refuge, does not deny the incident, but, asks people to take the situation in context, assuring that there is little choice when breaking up fighting dogs.

“Gastón Salchichón is a dog that has lived with us for many years and one of the most ‘necio’ (troublemaker). There was a fight of about 12 to 15 dogs against him and of course, we had to stop it,” Saumet told Crhoy.com.

According to Saumet, sometimes they have to get physical to separate fighting dogs.

“The boys were helping me stop the fight…There are times when they fight and they have to be separated; It is inevitable,” he said.

When asked if it was an assault, Saumet said they cannot let the dogs kill each other.

“I ask, ‘what should I do?’ If dogs in the house fight between each other and one of them bites a child … What would you do? How do you separate them? ‘ It’s the same thing I have to do when one dog is attacking another if people want to take it out of context, I cannot say anything. I do this publicly and in front of people,” he added.

According to Saumet, many say that the dogs should be separated without hitting them.

“What’s the bad thing we’re doing? Ah, we have to stop them without hitting them, they tell us and I ask them: ‘Do you think a dog, in an altered state, is going to react in any other way or with caresses?’” he emphasized.

The rest of the article deals with experts such as veterinarians and animal protection activists, talk about how dogs should not be allowed in groups, how they should be separated depending on their profile and aggressive nature.

Gisela Vico, president of the Asociación Nacional Protectora de Animales (ANPA), explains that prevention to this type of situation is avoiding mixing together so many dogs.

“It is not natural for dogs to live in large herds. The likelihood of fights is constantly high. We should look for methods that do not transcend or that do not harm their well-being. Failure to comply with the first rule of healthy coexistence obviously will have consequences,” she said.