Venezuela’s Abandoned Dogs: The Four Legged Victims of the Current Economic Crisis

sad-dogIn some richer countries like the U.S., people can afford luxuries, such as swimming pools and air conditioning. In fact, there are 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools across the entire country.

But these luxuries aren’t everywhere in the world. In Venezuela, for example, the economic crisis has become so severe that people cannot feed their pets, leaving the streets to be littered with stray animals begging for food.

The deep economic recession in Venezuela continues to spiral out of control, and inflation has risen so high that one bag of flour costs as much as a week of work. And that is just for humans. One small bag of dog food can cost as much as a month of wages for the average worker, and the smallest bag goes for about one-third the price.

Locally made dog food is also missing off of the shelves at the pet store. This then increases the demand, while the price of imported food is just too expensive.

Consequently, pet food is becoming a luxury fewer can afford, and, as a result, the number of abandoned animals on the streets has risen 50% in the past year.

Not only are Venezuelans dropping their dogs off in secluded parks and streets or tying them to poles in front of veterinary offices and pet stores, some pet owners feel so guilty they are creating makeshift pet shelters where the dogs can keep warm late at night.

Maria Arteaga oversees one of these shelters, and tells the Independent “The crisis has hit hard…people are abandoning their dogs because they can’t afford food and because they’re leaving the country.”

But no matter how much food is brought in by animal rights activists, there are too many mouths to feed.