On Nov. 29, 2013, more than 80 dogs of different breeds and sizes were pulled by Mexican authorities from a private home located in Santa María La Ribera, a neighborhood in Mexico. The pets were confiscated after neighbors contacted a local talk show and reported the owner of the property and pets as an alleged animal abuser. This couldn’t be further from the truth and now animal rescue organizations and sympathetic neighbors are rallying together to save these dogs and restore the pet owner’s reputation.
Laura Bozzo is a Peruvian lawyer and talk show host who currently works in Mexico for Televisa. Her program, very similar to Jerry Springer in the United States, is known for shining a light on sensational subjects and show participants. Bozzo had been known for helping the needy but her show turned into a ratings and popularity contest where the only subjects covered are shocking, popular topics.
When concerned neighbors from Santa María La Ribera neighborhood contacted the show, they said Olga, the pet and property owner, housed too many pets on the property and abused them. However, Olga, who has been a self-described pet rescuer with more than 20 years of experience, was never given the chance to defend herself.
Bozzo, armed with local authorities, arrived at Olga’s house in the middle of the night and forcefully removed the pets.
The dogs were inhumanly pulled from the house and dumped into a garbage truck vehicle. They were then transported to Animal Control where the pets would have little chance of leaving alive.
When news broke that Olga’s pets where forcefully removed, local animal groups like Mundo Patitas, Albergue Pergatuzoo AC, and C.A.R.A. banned together to help the private citizen fight the injustices committed against her by the sensational TV show.
Mundo Patitas had been invited to Bozzo’s show to give expert advice on the condition of the dogs. However, Bozzo never allowed them to speak. The rescue organization had visited Olga’s house and had concluded that each pet was in excellent health and there was no sign of animal abuse or neglect.
After the pets were removed, Mundo Patitas posted the following message on their Facebook wall:
“This comment might be controversial. Housing too many dogs in a private home can be an ethical, moral and health problem, yet it is not ILLEGAL. Mundo Patitas does not promote housing large numbers of pets in a private home, and authorities have legal procedures in place in order to remove pets from such instances, yet these procedures were not followed on the night Olga lost her pets. It is absurd that authorities act this fast when a TV show reports alleged abuse, and unfortunately it was the authorities who became the animal abusers when they threw and transported the pets in a garbage truck. Why don’t the authorities act this fast and effectively when average citizens report animal abuse against breeders and dog fighting rings?”
Mundo Patitas, along with other animal rescue organizations contacted a lawyer to fight the abuse committed against Olga and her pets. Fortunately, all animals were removed from Animal Control and were transported to an animal shelter run by Asociación PNA, in Cuautla, Morelos.
For now all pets are safe from being put down or abused at the hands of the authorities, but Olga still has a long battle ahead in order to regain her dogs.