Target: Geraldo Júlio de Mello Filho, Mayor of Recife, Brazil
Goal: Condemn the city’s alleged decision to remove stray dogs from its streets in preparation for the World Cup
In Brazil, the 2014 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup soccer tournament has generated tremendous excitement. Local World Cup committees in host cities around the country worked to beautify their streets in preparation. However in some cites, such as Recife, these preparations included removing street dogs from their makeshift shelters in the city and on beaches. As was the case during the 2013 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia where street dogs were displaced and often killed, the dogs in Recife face an uncertain fate when they are rounded up.
Brazilian officials deny that the round up of street dogs is happening, but several eyewitnesses say they saw dogs being taken from the streets. They say that the fact the government is not providing shelter for these dogs means they are being killed. If this is true, it is illegal. Brazilian law states that healthy animals may be spayed and neutered but not killed. They must be returned to the streets.
“Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for street dogs and cats to be killed before big international sporting events as a knee-jerk reaction to preparing cities for the global spotlight,” said Wendy Higgins, a representative for Humane Society International. Some dogs have found homes with animal enthusiasts, much like dogs during the Sochi Olympics, but many more face death or permanent displacement. Tell the Mayor of Recife to abide by Brazilian law and refrain from killing stray animals in an attempt to beautify his city.
Dear Mayor Júlio,
Removing street dogs in Recife is unnecessary and cruel. There is no shelter designated to house these dogs until the FIFA World Cup is over, which suggests that they are being euthanized. This is against Brazilian law in addition to being inhumane.
If street dogs are a problem in Recife there are many ways to control the population that do not involve culling them to try and improve the city’s image. Spaying and neutering puppies and adult dogs will reduce the street dog population and could eventually eliminate the issue altogether. If Recife really needs to get rid of its strays, please use one of these methods instead of condemning the dogs to death.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nathan R. Yergler via Wikimedia Commons