HSI: End Animal CrueltyThe life of a street dog in Mexico isn’t easy. Finding safe food and water, and shelter from the heat; avoiding cars; being fast enough to dodge people who mean you harm. The last one is especially important, since animal cruelty laws in Mexico are sometimes vague, frequently not prosecuted, and carry the most minimal penalties. This must be changed.

Last month, one dog in Nayarit wasn’t fast enough, and a group of four young men beat and killed him, also inciting their dogs to participate. They posted pictures and video of the attack online. As punishment, the teenagers were expelled from school, will participate in psychological treatment and community service, and required to pay a fine of 400 pesos ($30 US). This is simply not enough. Please ask government officials to address the need for strict laws against animal cruelty and ensure they are actively enforced.

We must stand with the local community of Nayarit, which held rallies (to which many brought their own dogs) calling for better protections for animals. Protests in other states throughout Mexico have followed. These public actions confirm that the people of Mexico find this cruelty intolerable and demand a change in laws for animals and their enforcement.

TAKE ACTION

Animal cruelty should be rejected in any society -- for its own sake, and because of the established links between animal abuse and violence towards people. In a country experiencing high levels of violent crime, it is especially important not to dismiss acts that can be precursors to future violent crimes.

Please send a message today asking your government officials to implement and enforce stricter laws against animal cruelty.

Then, spread the word to everyone you know to ask them to help combat animal abuse in Mexico, too.

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Sample letter to officials

Subject: Please strengthen Mexico's anti-cruelty laws and enforcement

Dear Sirs:

The Mexican and international communities are outraged by the lack of enforcement of laws protecting animals from cruelty and ask that the government enact and enforce a law empowering local authorities to prosecute animal abusers.

Given the proven link between animal abuse and violence against humans, lack of enforcement of laws protecting animals from cruelty is very troubling, especially in a country experiencing high levels of crime.

Although there is a federal law in Mexico that addresses animal protection, there are no regulations to enforce it. States are left with no guidelines to effectively deal with animal abusers, and lack of knowledge concerning animal protection and the importance of respect for nonhuman life prevents local authorities from taking action.

I am joining with people across Mexico and from around the world in calling for stricter laws and written and applied punishment for those who commit crimes of cruelty against animals.

The federal and state governments of Mexico cannot continue to tolerate such levels of violence, ignoring or dismissing the rampant examples of animal abuse that go unpunished across the nation and which can lead to violence against people as well. Please do everything in your power to see that these important problems receive the attention they deserve.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.

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