Chapala’s new municipal administration is getting on track to implement animal protection regulations and encourage responsible pet ownership.
A recent posting on the local government’s Facebook page advises that dog owners “shall be punished according to law” for walking canines without a collar and leash, damages their pets cause to third parties, or failing to pick up the animal’s feces.
However, according to Ecology Department Director Rafael Aguilar, the notice is simply an advisory of enforcement strategies that remain in the pipeline. For the time being, the prime places that will be under close scrutiny by Chapala’s newly formed team of Tourist Inspectors are the waterfront Malecón boardwalks that have become popular spots for pooch outings.
Aguilar is also working closely with local animal protection activists to identify and take action against cases of abuse. He has collaborated with one local group in the rescue a starving dog recently discovered near death in San Antonio Tlayacapan, leading to criminal charges being filed against the owner filed this week. The dog is slowly recuperating under the intensive care of a local veterinarian.