or at least they might think so thanks to the good word done by canine advocates in Mexico. I came across an article that talked about the canine companions that join the huge pilgrimage to Mexico’s most important basilica on December 12th. Apparently more than 7 million pilgrims visited La Villa this year and they were accompanied by hundreds of dogs. The dogs are looking for company and food, while the pilgrims welcome the dogs as company and protection (thankfully, not food!). When all the people disperse though, the dogs are left hanging around the basilica. Typically, the authorities would be called and the dogs rounded up and euthanized.
Canine advocacy groups like Mundo Patitas (Little Paws World) is trying to put an end to that generally by educating Mexicans about the proper care of dogs and, in particular, saving the dog companions of the pilgrims. As one member notes, “Catholic charity generally doesn’t extend to animals. Most Mexicans don’t see dogs as living beings. They either consider them objects or a nuisance. We’re here not just to save the dogs, but also to make people conscious of how to treat them.” That was pretty much how dogs were treated when we lived in Mexico more than 15 years ago and it sounds like things are changing, but sadly very slowly. Here is one of the sweet photos from the article; check the article for more of the same: