Documentary shows the plight of Mexico’s street dogs


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While animal activists in the U.S. argue over how best to deal with America’s pet overpopulation problem, their counterparts in Mexico are fighting far more rampant pet overpopulation. What’s worse is that homeless dogs are often electrocuted, rather than euthanized by injection as is the norm in American shelters.

A recent documentary called ‘Companions to None (Companeros de Nadie),’ the first film by director Bill Buchanan, addresses the issue and its underlying causes. Our colleague Deborah Bonello at the La Plaza blog reported on its release last month:


The hourlong film is an unflinching commentary on the overpopulation of stray dogs in Mexico, who even outnumber us humans in some regions. Macho culture, argues Buchanan, goes some way to explaining why Mexicans are so reluctant to sterilize their male dogs. There is a common belief in Mexico, according to his narrative, that sterilizing a male dog will make the dog ‘gay.’

A recent discovery near Mexico City hammers home the importance of the issues addressed in ‘Companions to None,’ as Bonello explains in a follow-up post:

Animal-rights activists in the state of Mexico -- which borders Mexico City -- are up in arms following the electrocution of more than 200 dogs found near a dump last week. The News reports that although several shelters offered to adopt or administer lethal injections to the animals, which were picked up when the dump was shut down, city veterinarians went ahead and put them down through electrocution after insisting that the animals were too dangerous to adopt.

A rescue group called Save a Mexican Mutt (SAMM) offers a hands-on way to help the street dogs of Mexico: adopting them. You can follow the progress of SAMM’s rescued dogs on the group’s blog.

--Lindsay Barnett