STREET DOGS AND CATS IN DOMINICAN URBAN LIFE By GAGE ZIEHMN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2016
2016 Gage Ziehmn
This thesis is dedicated to La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro Inc. and all of the animals that inhabit the homes, sidewalks, and street corners of the city that captured my heart.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This thesis work was only possible due to the unwavering support from advisors at the University of Florida, my MALAS colleagues who inspire me daily, my loving family, and friends who I call family. A special thank you goes to my primary committee advisor, Dr. Susan Paulson who believed in me and my work through every struggle. I would also like to acknowledge Dr. Sus an deFrance, Dr. Jorge Hernandez, and Dr. Muthusami Kumaran for their dedication and tireless efforts towards this project. I owe so much to Dr. Gisselle Alt. Santos Diaz and La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro Inc. for their incredible support and assistance to my thesis research and collaboration towards common goals. I appreciate the selfless assistance of Animales en Peligro volunteers and employees, with special note to Junior Vasquez de Jesus and Josemanuel Alarcon Estevez, and I want to exten d my sincere gratitude to all of my research participants in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Last but not least, I would like to thank my parents for their unconditional love, support, and guidance. I would not be who I am or where I am today without their selflessness.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 7 LIST OF KEY CONCEPTS ................................ ................................ .............................. 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTI ON ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 13 2 PURPOSE, METHODS, AND COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL ORGANIZATION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 20 Purpose of Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 20 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 21 Research Methodology ................................ ................................ ........................... 22 Focus Group, Card Ranking, and Interview Questions English Translations ... 24 Focus group questions ................................ ................................ ............... 24 Card ranking exercises ................................ ................................ .............. 25 In depth interview questions ................................ ................................ ...... 26 Spanish Translations ................................ ................................ ........................ 27 Preguntas de grupos de enfoque ................................ ............................... 27 Ejercicios de clasificacin de tarjeta ................................ .......................... 29 Preguntas de entrevista en profundidad ................................ .................... 29 Context and Institution of Collaboration ................................ ................................ .. 30 3 CONTEXT: STREET ANIMALS ACROSS TIME, SPACE, CULTURES, AND INSTITUTIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 41 History ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 41 Street Animals and Pets in Latin America ................................ ............................... 43 Street Animals and Pets in the United States ................................ .......................... 45 Street Animals and Pets in the Dominican Republic ................................ ............... 46 Institutions and Stakeholders ................................ ................................ .................. 50 Framework of Study ................................ ................................ ................................ 53 4 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 55 Animals in History ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 55 Animals as Pets and Commodities ................................ ................................ ......... 58 Animals and Public Health ................................ ................................ ...................... 64 Challenges ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 68
6 5 RESULTS AND FIND INGS ................................ ................................ ..................... 72 Factors that Motivate and Demotivate People to Sterilize Dogs and Cats .............. 72 Negative and Positive Health Effects and Impacts from Street Dogs and Cats ....... 74 Factors that Influence Ownership of Pure Breed Vs. Mixed Breed Dogs and Cats ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 76 Factors that Influence Ownership of Male vs. Female Dogs and Cats .................... 77 Roles and Functions of Dogs and Cats in Dominican Society ................................ 77 Sources of Knowledge About Pets and Pet Care ................................ .................... 78 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 78 Anthropomorphism ................................ ................................ ........................... 79 Comparisons between Pets and Street Dogs and Cats ................................ .... 81 Sterilization ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 84 Rabies Prevention and Control ................................ ................................ ......... 91 Culture and Pet Care ................................ ................................ ........................ 93 6 TOWARD STRATEGIES FOR HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE HUMAN ANIMAL COEXISTENCE IN URBAN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ............................. 97 Stakeholder 1: Veterinarians and Veterinary Students ................................ ........... 97 Stakeholder 2: Institutions ................................ ................................ ....................... 98 Stakeholder 3: Residents ................................ ................................ ...................... 100 Environment: Physical and Cultural ................................ ................................ ...... 100 7 CONCLUSIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 111 Needs and Opportunities for Future Studies ................................ ......................... 111 Key Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 113 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 119 BIOGRAPH ICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 122
7 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 A street dog in urban Santiago scavenges food scra ps amongst garbage in the street ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 17 1 2 A street dog lounges in a shady spot in a semi rural neighborho od on the perimeter of Santiago ................................ ................................ ......................... 18 1 3 A street cat seeks a place of hiding unde rneath a parked car in Santiago ......... 19 1 4 A street puppy curls up to nap in some shade while a focus group is conducted in a neighborhood of low socioeconomic statu s in the s emi rural outskirts of Santiago ................................ ................................ ........................... 19 2 1 A map displaying the city of Santiago de los Caball eros in the Dominican Repulbl ic ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 34 2 2 A street dog scavenges for scraps of food on the hill of the Monument of the Heroes of the Restoration, in the center of Santiago ................................ .......... 35 2 3 Dr. Gisselle Santos Diaz of La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro performs a spay surgery on a female street dog ................................ ................................ .. 36 2 4 C hildren interacting with a puppy from La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro during an educational summer camp session in Sant iago ................................ .. 37 2 5 Some of the rescued shelter dogs of La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro, being fed dog food by volunteers at the shelt er in Santiago ............................... 38 2 6 Recently completed dog house shelters to provide protection from the elements for the shelter dogs of La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro ............. 39 2 7 Maya, a rescued street dog rests in a repurposed tire in the shelter of La Fundacion de An imales en Peligro, waiting to be adopted ................................ 40 5 1 Several street dogs wander amongst trash on a street corner in Santiago ........ 96 5 2 A street dog seeks food in a pile of trash on a sidewalk in urban Santiago ........ 96 6 1 A house in the urban center of Santiago, in a neighborhood of high socioeconomic status and wealth ........................................................ ........ ..... 108 6 2 A street dog roams a municipal waste management facility. Employees noted that dogs are often dropped off here from other places ................................ ... 109 6 3 Two street dogs lounge in front of a local restaurant and bar, just before the business owner opened the s hop front ................................ ............................. 109
8 6 4 A street dog lounging in shade in a semi rural neighborhood of low socioeconomic status in Santiag o ................................ ................................ .... 110 6 5 A photo of a house in a neighborhood of low socioeconomic status in the semi rural outsk irts of Santiago ................................ ................................ ........ 110
9 LIST OF KEY CONCEPTS Absent Presences Referring to animals in history, literature, and culture as a bsent presence s meaning they are physically present, but not speaking. Indigenous and other marginalized groups have also been noted as a bsent presences throughout history and literature, whose voices have been silenced, unwritten, or constructed and presented by the dominant social groups. Anthropomorphism The attribution of human traits, ambitions, emotions, or entire behavior to animals, non human beings, natural phenomena, or objects. For example, when people resist neutering a dog due to concerns regarding taking away his m achone ss, they are projecting a concept entirely of human construction onto the dog. FAEP La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro Inc. The partner institution for this study. A nonprofit organization located in Santiago, Dominican Republic that is dedicated to the protection, care, and defense of abandoned and mistreated animals. Their objectives include rescuing and rehoming animals, implementing sterilization programs, and developing educational campaigns to create a better world for the helpless. Femininity The concept of being feminine, womanl iness. Intact Refers to an animal that is not sterilized, or an animal that contains all original biological parts and reproductive organs Machismo A strong or exaggerated sense of manliness in which virility, courage, strength, and entitlement to dominate are associated with. Neocolonialism The dominance of strong nations over weak nations, not by direct political control (as in traditional colonialism), but by economic and cultural influence. This paper will look at neocolonialism in the form of foreign managed animal rights and rescue campaigns. Participatory Action Research PAR is an approach to research in communities that focuses on participation and action. It seeks to understand social problems in context and works to change them collaboratively and following reflection. PAR emphasizes collective inquiry and experimentation grounded in experience and social history. This study is framed using PAR methodology to assure that local voices and perspectives interact in dialogue with ideas, norms, and values brought by outside researchers.
10 Pet Dogs and Cats that are claimed under ownership by one or more specific persons, characterized by either regular feeding, care, shelter, or any combination of these. Pets in the Dominican Republic may not sleep inside the home or yard, especially in areas of low socioeconomic status. Pure and Mixed Breed Pets Purebred generally refers to an animal whose ancestors derive of many generations from a recognized breed. A mixed breed animal generally refers to a hybrid or mixing of various ancestries and breeds. Notions of race and class as they manifest in culturally constructed ideas about pure and mixed breed pets the racialization of dogs and cats. Ideas about pure breed pets as items of conspicuous consumption and norms of racial superiority by the wealthy class, and mixed breeds as being undesirable and unsuitable pets will be explored. A slogan used to promote pet adoption in Spanish makes evident the linkages between race and animals compres uno de raza, adopta uno sin casa Sterilization The altering of animals surgically (or chemically) that eliminates their ability to reproduce. For female animals, the surgery is called spaying, and for males it is called neutering. Spaying involves surgically removing the ovaries and uterus, and neutering involves removing the testicles. There is also an emerging chemical method of sterilization for male dogs that involves injections into the testicles. Sterilization reduces an urge to roam in order to seek sexual partners, reduces the risks of cancers associated with the sexual organs and extends an lifespan by several years, and lowers aggressive behavior associated with competition for sexual partners. Other terms for sterilization include gonadectomy and ovariohysterectomy. Street Animals Dogs and cats that have no designated owner, and do not receive regular care, feeding, or shelter from a specific person. Zoonotic Diseases Diseases which can be passed from animals to humans via viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. This will be looked at within the broader context of street animals and their impacts on public and human health issues
11 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts STREET DOGS AND CATS IN DOMINICAN URBAN LIFE By Gage Ziehmn May 2016 Chair: Susan Paulson Major: Latin American Studies Large popul ations of street dogs and cats roam and interact with their human counterparts in direct and indirect ways every day in urban Santiago, Dominican Republic. Yet, this omnipresence of street animals entails large scale animal suffering and a myriad of associated issues for humans. These problems include aggression, parasite and zoonotic disease transmission, garbage dispersion, traffic accidents, etc. Currently, few systematic efforts are being made towards managing street animal populations. This thesis research was carried out in collaboration with one positive initiative, La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro Inc. (FAEP), a nonprofit institution dedicated to helping street animals and aims to understand: what factors facilitate and/or constrai n a more healthy and sustainable relationship between humans and street dogs and cats in Santiago; how cultural attitudes and practices influence dog and cat ownership, adoption, and sterilization; how street dogs and cats impact public health and safety; and, what organizations and entities make up the institutional landscape concerning pets and street dogs and cats. Research findings contribute toward systematic integration of human health and veterinary medicine and encourage government actors at various scales to seek appropriate solutions for
12 street animal management by highlighting potential benefits from sustainable management for citizens and animals alike. Understanding cultural perceptions of street animals strengthens the potential of actors and organizations to promote them in positive, asset based ways and to reduce apprehensions associated with pet rescue and sterilization. I want to present this piece of work as my contribution to the issues and situat ion in Santiago, recognizing that it is useful but not sufficient to explain or solve the questions and concerns addressed here, as complex, structural factors like poverty and politics impact the situation.
13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Large populations of street dogs and cats roam major roadways, wander down neighborhood streets, doze on the stoops of local businesses, and interact with their human counterparts in direct and indirect ways every day in urban, bustling, Sant iago, Dominican Republic. Many residents perceive these animals as a natural part of the urban environment, and some residents feed or interact in other ways with these animals, and identify various benefits of their presence. Yet, this omnipresence of street animals entails large scale animal suffering and a myriad of associated issues for human residents. These problems include aggression, parasite and zoonotic disease transmission including rabies, garbage dispersion and accompanying contamination and hygiene issues, traffic accidents, and more. According to Rosario (2008), factors that would support better management of street animals include education of the population on the responsibilities and liabilities of animal keeping and pet ownership, appr opriate regulation and legislation for animal keeping specifically in urban and semi urban areas, sufficient financial resources, and ample political will and legislation. Currently, few systematic efforts are being made towards managing street animal populations. This thesis research was carried out in collaboration with one positive initiative, La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro Inc. (FAEP), a nonprofit institution dedicated to the protection, care, defense, and rehoming of pets and street animals. FAEP rescues abandoned pets and street animals, provides veterinary care, conducts adoption events, holds large scale, low cost sterilization clinics, and carries out educational campaigns about pet care and animal welfare. This organization operates witho ut any support or financial assistance from the government or other entities. In a ddition to economic restraints and relatively small scale operations, current efforts
14 towards sustainable management of street animals, carried out by FAEP, are frequently met with resistance rooted in social and cultural norms, attitudes, and practices. I organized Focus groups and in depth interviews to listen to diverse voices, and to learn about attitudes and practices of residents of Santiago in relation to critical top ics such as street animals, sterilization, health impacts from street animals, pet care and pet keeping, mixed and pure breed animals, and institutional responsibility. Fieldwork was carried out during June and July of 2015 in Santiago, Dominican Republic, in tandem with FAEP. It is the aim of this thesis to enhance awareness and shed light on the street dogs and cats and pets of Santiago, and some of the associated actors, issues, and questions involved. Encompassing solutions to some of the problems pointed out in this work are well beyond the scope of my research; the issues highlighted necessitate multifaceted solutions and collaboration and cooperation of large and complex entities, such as the government at various scales, the community o f residents, the veterinary community, the pet care sector, the department of public health, and more. Moreover, layers of complexity accompany those entities, such as the bureaucracy and politics that accompany government, and poverty, which lie outside the realms of this research, also significantly impact the issues. A Caribbean Welfare Conference of 2008 held in coordination with the Secretary of Public Health and Social Assistance in the Dominican Republic concerning the role of the government in prev ention of rabies and animal protection defines a street dog, or perro callejero, as any dog who roams freely through the streets and public places without being accompanied by an owner or breeder (Rosario, 2008). The report further establishes that street dogs are not lost dogs, they are difficult to capture, and play a
15 relevant role in transmission of diseases, they adapt to whatever habitat they are in, and are shy and aloof (Rosario, 2008). Street animals live in large populations worldwide; the W HO approximates a global total of between 20,000,000 and 600,000,000 stray dogs and cats (Society, 2014). Street animals are a part of life for humans in many countries, and a street and place in society vary according to culture and other factors. The concept of ownership varies by context, and is often ambiguous and fluid for street animals; for example some animals may sleep outside and roam loose and still be considered to be under some kind of ownership status (Humane Society Inte rnational, 2015). In the Caribbean, ow nersh of dogs is a loose and flexible word; a lth ough a person may feed a dog, which is probably the extent of the care offered, the person may not regard the dog as his or her pr operty (Eller, Fielding, Gall, & Green, 2012). In many places around the world, institutionalized pet rescue and animal welfare systems are absent, and the concept of adoption of homeless pets is a relatively new concept (Humane Society International, 2015). In Latin America street animal s often assume negative connotations and in some conversations and media are associated with disease, aggression, and filthiness. Street dogs in the Dominican Republic and other parts of Latin America are frequently termed v ira latas, or an e specially scraggly, unkempt kind of dog who scavenges for food from garbage can s (Monte & Nations, 1996). A community health worker in Brazil described the situation of vira latas, v ira lata is a bruto (ugly, wild beast) animal, a stray mutt that runs loose in the four corners of the city, wild on the streets. Everybody who sees them wants the right to do something kick, throw rocks, hit do all sorts of violence to these vira latas because they even have an owne r (Monte & Nations, 1996). A
16 community leader in Brazil describes that street animals suffer a lot, scavenge in garbage cans, and are full of illnesses. In Brazil, linguistic commonalities between street animals and societal disgraces abound. For example, vira lata is used derogatorily in daily langua ge referring to female prostitutes, th e metaphorical implication is that prostitutes, like stray dogs, belong to no one, and everyone, that they have no pedigree, no status, and no inherent righ ts (Monte & Nations, 1996). Both street dogs and prostitutes are seen as un pure due to their lack of pe digree or breeding background, and ultimately disgraceful and worthless in society. Further, a banda de cachorros literally refers to a pack of dogs, but it also means a mob (a disorderly and lawless crowd), or a wicked trick produced by cachorros (literally puppies, but also refers to a low down, dishonest person) (Monte & Nations, 1996).
17 Figure 1 1. A street dog in urban Santiago scavenges food scraps amongst garbage in the street. Photo courtesy of the author.
18 Figure 1 2. A street dog lounges in a shady spot in a semi rural neighborhood on the perimeter of Santiago. Photo courtesy of the author
19 Figure 1 3. A street cat seeks a place of hiding underneath a parked car in Santiago. Photo courtes y of the author. Figure 1 4. A street puppy curls up to nap in some shade while a focus group is conducted in a neighborhood of low socioeconomic status in the semi rural outskirts of Santiago. Photo courtesy of the author.
20 CHAPTER 2 PURPOSE, METHODS AND COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL ORGANIZATION Purpose of Study This project intends to contribute to three realms: academia, society in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and the animal rescue sector. The project seeks to address and fill a portion of a research void in academic literature on the subject of street dogs and cats and pet keeping in Latin America that intersects with cultural attitudes and practices of society. Animals and pets are integral parts of the human landscape that have been significantly understudied from a social and cultural perspective. There has been some research from the academic sector of veterinary medicine, concerning zoonotic disease transmission, parasite prevalence in street dogs, etc. However, programs implemented to reduce p opulations and combat the issues associated with street animals are often met with cultural resistance and varied success. I seek to use my study of cultural attitudes and practices to better understand conceptions of pets and street animals and form a more holistic assessment of the problem, in order to merge this gap and create more effective campaigns that improve conditions for humans in Latin America and the street dogs and cats. The project hopes to identify and work with diverse community stakehol ders to lay groundwork for implementing an inclusive plan for alleviating the negative effects of street dogs and cats for humans community. The project seeks to unite the realms of public health, and how culture affects attitudes and practices regarding pet keeping, sterilization, and street dogs and cats, by using deeper understandings about cultural perceptions of animals to create more appropriate and effective strategies to mitigate negative public hea lth effects. In sum, this research reaches to benefit the rescue sector, create more effective public
21 education campaigns, minimize animal suffering, and maximize public health and safety in Santiago. The project aims to shed light on the various aspects a nd issues of animal rescue and animal rights movements, globally, and in the Dominican Republic specifically. It seeks to uncover neocolonialist assumptions that often underlie animal rescue missions from the global north to the global south, and suggest a more nuanced, culturally appropriate, community oriented, and sustainable way of pursuing animal welfare. It highlights a broader issue with US/Latin America relations and development policy, which often attempt to solve problems by disseminating and imp osing US ideals and ways of life to Latin America. Research Questions 1. What factors facilitate and/or constrain a more healthy and sustainable relationship between humans and street dogs and cats in Santiago? 2. What are predominant cultural attitudes in urban Dominican Republic concerning: Street animals vs. pets? The role of dogs and cats in society? Male vs. female dogs and cats? Sterilization? Mixed breed vs. pure breed dogs and cats? 3. How do cultural attitudes and practices influence dog and cat ownership adoption, and sterilization? 4. In what ways do street dogs and cats impact public health and safety? 5. What organizations and entities make up the institutional landscape concerning pets and street dogs and cats? 6. What considerations, information and strategies can help the community design a feasible, sustainable, and effective strategy, with La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro, based off of research findings that is acceptable to diverse stakeholders to reduce street dog and cat populations to ensure increased public health and safety as well as the welfare of the animals?
22 Research Methodology In total, twenty six in depth interviews, eleven focus groups, and thirty card ranking activities were conducted in Santiago, Dominican Republic during June and July of 2015. Each of these instruments is presented in detail in the appendices to this thesis. In depth interviews took place with one to two participants, and focus groups consisted of two or more participants. Participants represent various social ro les and interest groups in the city, including veterinarians, university students, employees of local government, employees of the department of public health, drivers of public transportation, teachers, members of the press, employees of local nonprofits, mothers, unemployed people, Haitian immigrants, pet shop employees, pet food nutrition scientists, etc. In addition, printed materials from various sources and institutions were gathered, such as informational pamphlets from the Department of Public Health regarding information for people who have been bitten by rabid animals, a book from the Natural Environment department of local government informing children about proper disposal of trash and sanitation, numerous business cards from veterinary clinic offices, etc. Furthermore, photographs of various types of urban environments and neighborhoods of varying socioeconomic statuses to help visually demonstrate the physical landscapes that impact attitudes and strategies about street dogs and cats were taken and collected. Photographs of street dogs and cats in the urban environment were taken and collected as well. Findings also manifested in field notes and journal entries from various events, outings, and experiences. Finally, some statistics were gathered from various stakeholders such as veterinary clinics, however accurate and clearly documented statistical information was difficult to obtain.
23 The most common answers according to focus groups and in depth interviews were divided i nto six categories, (1) Factors that Motivate and Demotivate People to Sterilize Dogs and Cats, (2) Negative and Positive Health Effects and Impacts from Street Dogs and Cats, (3) Factors that Influence Ownership of Pure Breed Vs. Mixed Breed Dogs and Cats, (4) Factors that Influence Ownership of Male Vs. Female Dogs and Cats, (5) Roles and Functions of Dogs and Cats in Dominican Society, (6) Sources of Knowledge About Pets and Pet Care, and calculated. Answers were only counted once per person, so the same answers that appeared twice in the same interview were only counted once. Some answers received an equal number of responses, and thus were ranked equally. Some of the places and institutions I visited to conduct fieldwork include the local government, the department of public health and various sub departments such as sanitation and public education, private and public schools, universities, veterinary offices, offices of local newspapers, offices of national television channels, nail salons malls, col mado s or local corner stores, local NGOs, restaurants, mechanic shops, the office of an international study abroad company, hospitals, the office of public transportation companies, and fieldwork in the urban center of the city as well as the rural suburbs, with people of high and low socioeconomic status, and people of low and high levels of education, and with men and women. All of my participants were legal adults over the age of 18. In addition to these activities, I also attended various events with Animales en Peligro and engaged in participant observation. When I was not conducting interviews or focus groups, I was working at the veterinary clinic and animal shelter, observing and taking field notes. E vents I attended with the rescue include an adoption and
24 fundraising event, a Pitbull breeder and rescuer event, a dog training competition, a class at a university about rabies transmission and its prevention, many summer camps to educate about interaction with animals and pet rescue, a conference about a new injectable spay/neuter technique presented by American veterinarians, a spay/neuter campaign conducted by a foreign run nonprofit, etc. To complement my research in the city of Santiago, I accompanied FAEP to several activities outside of the city. Focus Group, Card Ranking, and Interview Questions English Translations Focus group questions 1. What factors motivate people to get their animals sterilized? 2. What factors discourage people from getting their animals sterilized? 3. Where are pet supplies (pet food, etc) available? (pet stores? Grocery stores?) Where do you buy pet food? 4. Are there pet supplies easily available in locations other than pet stores? Grocery stores? Etc? 5. How are stray dogs perceived in the media? In the local news? on television shows? 6. Do you prefer sterilized dogs or intact dogs? Why? 7. Do you prefer mixed breed or pure bred dogs? Why? 8. What is currently being done to control stray dogs and cats? 9. What would work better to control the stray dogs and cats? 10. In your opinion, what is the biggest negative health effect created by street dogs for humans? 11. What are the roles of dogs in the Dominican Republic? 12. What are the roles of cats in the Dominican Republic? 13. Are the streets and urban environment more dangerous because of feral dogs and cats? 14. Do street dogs and cats regularly impact your life? In what ways?
25 15. What is the difference between a pet dog and a street dog? 16. What are common traits of street dogs and cats? 17. Do your neighbors take proper care of their animal? 18. What is defined as proper care of an animal? 19. Who is responsible for street dogs and cats? 20. How do you learn how to care for pets? 21. What did you learn from school about pet care? 22. How should street dogs and cats be dealt with? 23. Do your neighbors ever make any efforts to control stray dogs and cats? 24. Should dogs and cats be allowed to roam? Should dogs and cats be confined to a house, yard, or patio? 25. Do you think a dog's sexual needs are the same as a human's? 26. Does getting a dog fixed make it sexually frustrated? 27. Would you adopt a dog or cat from a rescue organization? Why? Or why not? 28. Would you purchase a dog from a breeder? Why? 29. If your neighbor wants a pet dog or cat, where would you tell them to find one? 30. What do you think about pet rescue? 31. How do pets or street dogs and cats affect your work or career? 32. Are sterilized dogs and cats treated differently than intact dogs and cats? Should they be? 33. How would communities be changed if populations of street dogs and cats were reduced? 34. Do people self sterilize their animals? Card ranking exercises 1. What factors motivate people to have their dog or cat sterilized/spayed/neutered? 2. What factors demotivate people to have their dog or cat sterilized/spayed/neutered? 3. What are the most significant negative human health effects created by street dogs?
26 4. What factors motivate people to adopt a dog or cat from a pet rescue? What factors demotivate people to adopt a dog or cat from a pet rescue? In depth interview questions 1. Is it easy for you to access a veterinarian? 2. What are the barriers to access? 3. Is it easy to access sterilization for a pet? 4. What are the barriers to access? 5. Is it easy to find pet supplies like food? 6. Please list all racial identities that exist in DR, what are they like? What racial markers are there? 7. Do you know anyone with a sterilized dog or cat? 8. If you have one, is your dog or cat sterilized? Why? 9. How do street dogs and cats affect your neighborhood? 10. What is the role of your pet? 11. Have you been chased by street dogs? 12. Would you rather own a pure bred or mixed breed dog or cat? Why? 13. Please list characteristics associated with a pet. 14. Why do your neighbors keep/own dogs? 15. Do your neighbors regularly take their animals to the veterinarian for care? Why do you think this is the case? 16. Do you prefer female or male pets? Why? 17. Do you think of your dog or cat in human terms? 18. What type of dog or cat would you want to adopt from a rescue organization? Why? 19. When you are choosing a dog or cat, what qualities are important to you? 20. Would you adopt a dog or cat from a rescue organization? Why? 21. Would you purchase a dog or cat from a breeder? Why? 22. If your neighbor wants a pet dog or cat, where would you tell them to find one?
27 23. What do you think about pet rescue? 24. How do pets or street dogs and cats affect your work or career? 25. Are sterilized dogs and cats treated differently than intact dogs and cats? Should they be? 26. How would communities be changed if populations of street dogs and cats were eliminated or reduced? 27. Do your neighbors ever make any efforts to control stray dogs and cats? 28. Should dogs and cats be allowed to roam? Should dogs and cats be confined to a house, yard, or patio? 29. How did you learn how to care for pets? did you learn anything from school/education about pet care? 30. Do street dogs and cats regularly impact your life? in what ways? 31. What is the difference between a pet dog and a street dog? 32. What are common traits of street dogs and cats? 33. What are the roles of dogs in the Dominican Republic? What are the roles of cats in the Dominican Republic? 34. Do you prefer sterilized dogs or intact dogs? Why? 35. Do you prefer mixed breed or pure bred dogs? Why? Spanish Translations Preguntas de grupos de enfoque 1. Qu factores motivan y desmotivan a las personas a tener su perro o gato esterilizado? 2. Hay alimentos para mascotas accesibles en otras tiendas? Como bodegas? 3. Cmo estn los perros y gatos callejeros percibidos en los medios? En las noticias locales? En programas populares? 4. Prefiere perros y gatos esterilizados o intactos? Po r qu? 5. Prefiere perros y gatos de raza pura o raza mezclado? Por qu? 6. Qu estrategias existen en este momento para controlar las poblaciones de perros y gatos callejeros? Que estrategias funcionaria mejor para controlar las poblaciones de perros y gatos callejeros?
28 7. En su opinin, cules son los impactos negativos en la salud ms importantes para los seres humanos de los perros y gatos callejeros? 8. Qu son las funciones de perros en la Republica Dominicana? Que son las funciones de gatos en la Republica Dominicana? 9. Son las calles y el medio ambiente urbano ms peligrosas debido a los perros y gatos callejeros? 10. Perros y gatos callejeros afectan regularmente a su vida? de qu maneras? 11. Cul es la diferencia entre un perro mascota y un perro de la calle? 12. Cules son los caractersticas comunes de los perros y gatos callejeros? 13. Sus vecinos toman el cuidado apropiado de su animal? Que definira usted como el cuidado apropiado de un animal? 14. Quin es el responsable de perros y gatos callejeros? 15. Cmo se aprende cmo cuidar a las mascotas? Qu aprendi de la escuela sobre el cuidado de mascotas? 16. Cmo deben perros y gatos callejeros ser tratados? 17. Hacen sus vecinos algn esfuerzo para controlar los perros y gatos callejeros? 18. Deberan gatos y perros ser permitidos a andar en la calle? Cree usted que los perros y los gatos deberan ser limitados a una casa o patio? 19. Cree usted que las necesidades sexuales de un perro son lo mismo que el de un humano? Usted piensa que tener un perro m acho esterilizado lo hace sexualmente frustrado? 20. Adoptara un perro o un gato de una organizacin de rescate? Por qu? 21. Adquirira un perro de un criador? Por qu? 22. Si su vecino quiere un perro o un gato, donde le sugeras conseguir uno? 23. Qu piensa usted sobre el rescate de mascotas? 24. Cmo afectan las mascotas o perros y gatos callejeros en su trabajo o carrera? 25. Estn los perros y gatos esterilizados tratados de manera diferente que los perros y los gatos intactos? Deberan ser? 26. Cmo cambiaran las comunidades si las poblaciones de perros callejeros y gatos fueron eliminados o reducidos?
29 Ejercicios de clasificacin de tarjeta 1. Qu factores motivan a las personas a tener su perro o gato esterilizado? 2. Qu factores desmotivan a las personas a tener su perro o gato esterilizado? 3. En su opinin, cules son los impactos en la salud ms importantes para los seres humanos de los perros y gatos callejeros? 4. Qu factores motivan a las personas a adoptar un perro o gato de un rescate de ani males? Qu factores desmotivan a las personas a adoptar un perro o gato de un rescate de animales? Preguntas de entrevista en profundidad 1. Cuantas clnicas veterinarias hay en Santiago? 2. Cuntas de las clnicas ofrecen esterilizacin? 3. Cuantas tiendas de animales hay en Santiago? 4. Por favor, enumerar todas las identidades raciales que existen en la Republica Dominicana. Descrbelas, como son? Cuales marcadores raciales existen? 5. Conoce usted a alguien con un perro o un gato esterilizado? 6. Si tiene mascota, est esterilizada? Por qu? 7. Cmo afectan los gatos y perros callejeros a su barrio? 8. Cul es el papel de su mascota? 9. Ha estado perseguido por los perros callejeros? 10. Prefiere usted un perro o gato de raza pura o mixta? Por qu? 11. Por favor, lista caracte rsticas asociados con una mascota. 12. Por qu sus vecinos tienen perros y gatos? 13. Sus vecinos llevan a sus animales al veterinario para el cuidado de la salud? Por qu crees que este es el caso? 14. Prefiere mascotas hembras o machos? Por qu? 15. Piensa de tu perro o gato en trminos humanos? 16. Qu tipo de perro o gato se desea adoptar de una organizacin de rescate? Por qu?
30 17. Cuando usted est eligiendo un perro o un gato, qu cualidades son importantes para usted? 18. Adoptara un perro o un gato de una organizacin de rescate? Por qu? 19. Adquirira un perro o un gato de un criador o un vendedor de mascotas? Por qu? 20. Si su vecino quiere un perro o un gato, donde le sugeras conseguir uno? 21. Qu piensa usted sobre el rescate de mascotas? 22. Cmo afectan las mascotas o perros y gatos callejeros en su trabajo o carrera? 23. Estn los perros y gatos esterilizados tratados de manera diferente que los perros y los gatos intactos? Deberan ser? 24. Cmo cambiaran las comunidades si las poblaciones de perros callejeros y gatos fueron eliminados o reducidos? 25. Hacen sus vecinos algn esfuerzo para controlar los perros y gatos callejeros? 26. Deberan gatos y perros ser permitidos a andar en la calle? Cree usted que los perros y los gatos deberan ser limitados a una casa o patio? 27. Cmo se aprende cmo cuidar a las mascotas? Qu aprendi de la escuela sobre el cuidado de mascotas? 28. Afectan los perros y gatos callejeros regularmente su vida? de qu maneras? 29. Cul es la diferencia entre un perro mascota y un perro de la calle? 30. Cules son las caractersticas comunes de los perros y gatos callejeros? 31. Que son las funciones de perros en la Republica Dominicana? Que son las funciones de gatos en la Republica Dominicana? 32. Prefiere perros y gatos esterilizados o intactos? Por qu? 33. Prefiere perros y gatos de raza pura o raza mezclado? Por qu? Context and Institution of Collaboration The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with its Western neighbor, Haiti. The DR occupies the eastern two thirds of the island, and is the second largest country in the West Indies, after Cuba. The major religion of the Dominican Republic is Spanish and the predominant religion Roman Catholic, as the DR was
31 colonized in 1493 by the Spaniards, and is the site of the first university, hosp ital, and cathedral in the Americas. Santo Domingo is the modern capital, with a population of around 1,865,000 people. The DR became independent from Spain in 1844, but experienced a series of government turmoil, such as the Haitian occupation, the Domi nican dictator Trujillo, and the US occupation. Santiago de los Caballeros, or Santiago, shown in figure 2 1 below, is located in city, with a population of a little over 1,000,000 residents. It is divided into 9 municipalities, and it is estimated that about 75% of the population lives in areas tral and urban neighborhoods are flanked by several semi rural neighborhoods, generally of lower socioeconomic status. Historians debate its inception, whether in 194 by Christopher Columbus, or in 1495 by his brother Bartholomew, however there is no doubt that Santiago was one of the earliest European settlements in the Americas. Santiago manifested after Columbus mandated the construction of a fort on a critical waterway, the Yaque del Norte River, to protect gold mining being carried out. In 1504, Span ish settlers moved to the fertile reg ion and began tobacco farming. Currently, the area is still significant to the country in terms of agriculture, as well as services, production, and tourism. The city has one international airport, and two universities that have veterinary programs. The Monument of the Heroes of the recognizable landmark of Santiago, pictured with a street dog in the foreground in Figure
32 2 2. Ano ther notable feature is the bustling street of Calle Del Sol, offering innumerable vendors, shops, markets, restaurants, parks and churches. La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro Inc. (FAEP) is a nonprofit institution located in Santiago registered in the Dominican Republic that dedicates itself to the protection, help, care, defense, and rehoming of abandoned, unprotected, and mistreated animals, in order to give them the rights of survival for their general welfare, conservation, and dignity. It was foun ded officially in 2009 and incorporated in 2010, and primarily does work in Santiago and the Cibao region, but also do some work in Puerto Plata, La Vega, San Francisco de Macoris, Espaillat, and Santo Domingo. The organization's founder and executive director is veterinarian, Dr. Gisselle Alt. Santos Diaz. FAEP predominantly rescues dogs and cats, both street animals and pets, but also works with horses, birds, exotic, and wild animals. Dr. Gisselle Santos Diaz began her work with street animals durin g her time as a veterinary medicine student in the capital, Santo Domingo. Her and her student colleagues found that they needed animals to practice their newly acquired medical skills with, and began collaborating with various people to work with street animals. The veterinary group began collecting, vaccinating, deworming, and sterilizing street animals. Later, when Dr. Diaz moved to Santiago after completing her studies, she brought this practice with her, and began to focus on collection, care, steri lization, and rehoming of street animals in larger quantities. In an interview, she expressed desire of her ultimate Specific objectives of Animales en Peligro include rescuing and receiving abandoned an imals, including animals with health problems and elderly animals, and rehoming them or keeping them in refuge forever, creating consciousness and teaching
33 owners about the responsibility of pet ownership, helping street animals, and developing educational campaigns to create a better world for the beings that we are passionate about (Animales en Peligro Inc, 2016). Their mission statement focuses on ending the suffering of animals in Santiago. Part of their mission includes sterilization programs that col laborate with veterinary programs at universities. This helps both the organization and provides the veterinary students with practice for their careers. FAEP's vision is to be the leading national and international institution in the eradication of animal mistreatment. Working at the origin of the problem involves raising the consciousness of the people, controlling the problem of birth and overpopulation, and rehoming animals (Animales en Peligro Inc, 2016). The website includes more information abo ut collaborators, patrons, donations, volunteers, programs, and their shelter. FAEP has a very active social media presence on Facebook with almost 4,500 l ikes, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, as well as a YouTube channel. The group has used social media to disseminate information about events, hold fundraisers, ask the community for help, reunite lost animals with owners, recruit volunteers, and more. Indeed, I became aware of the organization and got in contact with Dra. Gisselle Santos Diaz, through socia l media. FAEP has an established and recognizable logo that is fairly consistent throughout the various social media forums they employ. Animales en Peligro, works daily to achieve the goal of attaining more sustainable management practices of street dogs and cats in the city, which makes it the ideal institution in Santiago to collaborate with to further research goals on this topic.
34 Figure 2 1. A map displaying the city of Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Repulblic. Photo courtesy of http://www.worldatlas.com/na/do/25/where is santiago de los caballeros.html
35 Figure 2 2. A street dog scavenges for scraps of food on the hill of the Monument of the Heroes of the Restoration, in the center of Santiago. Photo courtesy of the author.
36 Figure 2 3. Dr. Gisselle Santos Diaz of La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro performs a spay surgery on a female street dog. Photo courtesy of t he author.
37 Figure 2 4. Children interacting with a puppy from La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro during an educational summer camp session in Santiago. Photo courtesy of the author.
38 Figure 2 5. Some of the rescued shelter dogs of La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro, being fed dog food by volunteers at the shelter in Santiago. Photo courtesy of the author.
39 Figure 2 6. Recently completed dog house shelters to provide protection from the elements for the shelter dogs of La Fundacion de Animale s en Peligro. Photo courtesy of the author.
40 Figure 2 7. Maya, a rescued street dog rests in a repurposed tire in the shelter of La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro, waiting to be adopted. Photo courtesy of the author.
41 CHAPTER 3 CONTEXT: STREET ANIMALS ACROSS TIME, SPACE, CULTURES, AND INSTITUTIONS History Humans and dogs have been connected for over two thousand years, with the link tracing back to Eurasia (Rosario, 2008). In Latin America, the domesticated dog has accompanied humans for 10 12 thousand years (Rosario, 2008). In the Caribbean, dogs have been present in various pre Columbian societies (Eller et al., 2012). The island of Hispaniola, which is comprised of modern day Dominican Republic and Haiti, was first encountered by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage on October 12, 1492 (Rosario, 2008). During the time of encounter there existed a precolombian dog called Goschi, which was an object of veneration by the indigenous (Rosario, 2008). Colombus said the dog was an object of status and food for the indigenous peoples. During the second trip of colonization during September of 1493, the Spanish brought animals including the dog. Rabies, however, has been a health problem for Hispaniola since 1768. Many authors cite the long h istory of dog ownership in the Caribbean, but agree that little research has been conducted overall in more detail with more local dog populations (Alie, Davis, Fielding, Galindo, & Morters, 2007). Various pieces of legislation have been enacted throughout Dominican history relating to dogs and cats. In 1912, large cacao farmers were entitled to purchase a dog of the Fox Terrier breed specifically (Rosario, 2008). In 1918 the government of Santo Domingo established fines and prison sentences for dog owner s that let their dogs roam in the streets (Rosario, 2008). Later, in 1996, vaccination against rabies and other diseases was made compulsory under the General Health Act to avoid epidemics, as well as limiting movement of dogs on public roads in urban are as. Interestingly, in 1993, a law
42 was enacted to prohibit the importation and breeding of Pittbull Terrier dogs in all of the Dominican Republic (Rosario, 2008). During 2005, a resolution was made to establish procedures for handling stray dogs and cats to facilitate better environmental sanitation policies and improve quality of life in the DR, as well as preparing education initiatives and protections and management of stray animals. These pieces of legislation demonstrate that governments at the national and subnational level have recognized that dogs and cats impact human well being. They suggest that communities will benefit if street dogs and cats are managed and limited in their movements, and if animals receive basic veterinary services. However, t hough these sentiments may be officially written as priorities on government documents, millions of street animals abound in the Dominican Republic today, causing problems for their human counterparts. It is clear that legislation alone is insufficient to the complex issues related to interactions between humans and street animals. With regard to the history of institutionalized rabies control in the Dominican Republic, the National Antirabies Center (Centro Antirrabico Nacional) in connetion with the State Secretary of Public Health and Social Assistance was born in September of 1975 (Rosario, 2008). Less than a decade later, in 1983, the National Program of Rabies Control and Prevention was realized in the DR. Also, the DR had the goal with a decade long plan to have zero cases of human rabies by 2015. Modern rabies control in the DR centers from the State Secretary of Public Health and draws resources from central government funding as well as international organizations like the WHO and PAHO. Rabies is th e most important zoonotic disease in the Dominican Republic from the point of view of public health and specific objectives include obtaining zero cases of
43 human rabies, high quality care of patients bitten by animals, vaccinating 80% of the dog and cat population, and obligatory notification of bitten victims (Rosario, 2008). Street Animals and Pets in Latin America Dogs have served various purposes and been domesticated in the region for thousands of years, prior to European exploration. As previously addressed, the definitions of ownership, pet, and street animal, and the lines between these categories (or lack ther eof), vary greatly through time and across contexts in Latin America and the Caribbean. One business report about the future of the pet industry in the region values growi ng faster than any By 2016, Brazil will usurp Japan as the strong, as urbanisation continues, disposable incomes rise, and more consumers turn to pets for co mpanionship. As Latin Americans move from pet ownership to pet parenthood, opportunities will arise for those manufacturers savvy enough to seize them (Euromonitor International, 2012). This quote again uses differentiating linguistic terms to distinguish between various forms of pet ownership and care, suggesting that Latin Americans are investing more time and resources into their domestic companions. Other sources mirror estimates that pet ownership is increasing in Latin America, and have posed questio ns about sustainability and the impact of increased pet food production (Veterinary Week, 2013). In the US pet ownership tends to be seen as black and white, owned or stray, but in Latin America the ownership of dogs and cats and the implications of owners hip form a spectrum. However, the ASPCA affirms that owned cats and dogs generally live longer, healthier lives than stray dogs and cats (ASPCA, 2015).
44 There is a notion circulating in academic literature that ambiguous forms of ownership lead to large po pulations of animals permitted to roam freely in the streets of urban and rural areas. According to a study from Haiti, almost 65% of dogs had access to roam the street, and the o wned dog population decreased following the 2010 earthquake, but the number of roaming dogs remained uninfluenced (Eller et al., 2012). A large majority, 63% of respondents to this study, considered roaming dogs a nuisance, yet nearly 43% fed dogs that they did not own. This statement echoes sentiments revealed in Santiago, that many participants recognized street animals bring numerous problems for the community, while simultaneously seeing them as victims to be aided and shielded from harm. Dogs and cats of the Caribbean are sterilized at very low rates, a major contributing fac tor to large street animal populations, especially combined with ambiguous ownership and high volumes of free roaming animals as evidenced above. It was recorded that only 6% of female dogs in Port au Prince were spayed, leading researchers to surmise that to humanely contain the dog population will require both confinement and neutering (Eller et al., 2012). A study from Dominica echoed similar levels of sterilized animals, at 8.5% of dogs neutered (Alie et al., 2007). The ASPCA finds that an average fertile cat produces 1 2 litters per year, with 4 6 kittens per litter, and the average fertile dog produces 1 litter per year, with 4 6 puppies per litter (ASPCA, 2015). A study from Dominica reported higher numbers, of 7 puppies per litter, and determin ing that the owned dog population produces more than is needed to maintain its size, thus contributing to the street dog population. To summarize, ambiguous ownership, allowing pets to roam, and low levels of sterilization all contribute to street animal populations.
45 Several studies have demonstrated majority preferences for male animals, with one showing a 61% preference for male dogs, similar to the rates of preference in Dominica, while St. Martin and the Bahamas had slightly less preferences for males but still over 50% (Eller et al., 2012) This gendered preference was echoed in Santiago, Dominican Republic, where when asked about preferences for male or female animals, the most noted response was strong preference for males because they do not breed and bring many babies (Ziehmn, 2016). Regarding rabies prevention in Haiti, approximately 42% of dogs were vaccinated for rabies, a minority, but over 28% of households had a member who was bitten by a dog (Eller et al., 2012). Street Animals and Pets in the United States To compare with the situation in the United States, the ASPCA estimates a population of 70 million stray cats in the US, and an unknown but large number of stray dogs (ASPCA, 2015). They say many stray animals are actually lost pets t hat were not properly contained and without identification. The US has 13,600 animal shelters nationwide, which 7.6 million companion animals filter into annually, 2.7 million of which are euthanized, and 2.7 million are adopted (ASPCA, 2015). Between 37 and 47% of US households have a dog and 30 37% a cat, making 70 80 million owned dogs and 74 96 million owned cats in the US (ASPCA, 2015). It is important to note that though the US has a much more institutionalized culture of roaming animal collection, vetting, and rehoming than Latin America, with many formal, funded animal shelters in operation, the US also has enormous populations of healthy, adoptable animals who are euthanized due to lack of space, time, resources, adoptable homes, etc. Latin America faces numerous public health issues due to large street animal populations, which the US does not suffer from in large. However, millions
46 of animals in the US are euthanized annually. This paper does not seek to argue which situation is more deplo rable, simply acknowledge that the landscape of issues and solutions, and attitudes and practices, vary among region. A key tenet of this paper is that Latin America and the US face different problems concerning pets and street dogs and cats, but not that one model is superior to the other. Street Animals and Pets in the Dominican Republic La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro Inc, a nonprofit pet rescue founded and run in Santiago, Dominican Republic, experiences street animal populations. According to The Dominican Ministry of Public Health and Welfare and La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro Inc (FAEP), street dogs and cats in Latin America present numerous problems for their human counterparts that share the same spac es (Rosario, 2008). External and internal zoonotic parasites can be detrimental to human health (Otranto2, 2014). Intact and unvaccinated animals roam the streets claiming and defending territory, forming packs, and causing fights between animals and occa sionally bites and even rabies with humans. Free roaming populations of dogs and cats present traffic dangers on the roadways, and their feces and urine add to health risks in neighborhoods. Large populations of street dogs and cats in Santiago, Dominican Republic are suffering and dying at high rates, as well as causing many serious issues for the human residents. As observed during my own work and academic research with FAEP during June and July of 2014 and 2015, and as noted by Gerly in M aking a Life with Dogs and Cats, the concept of pe t is a cultural construct and intersects with ideas about race, class, and gender (Gerly, 2010). Thoughts and practices about pet keeping, sterilization, pure breeds, mixed breeds, and street animals are mutually intertwined with cultural norms
47 and perceptions. In the Dominican Republic, La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro (FAEP) faces monumental challenges to pet rescue, including a lack of any government funding or support, limited pet rescue infrastructure, com bative cultural norms to spay/neuter and pet rescue, and a lack of collaboration of related institutions to solve the associated issues with street dogs and cats, to name a few (Inc). According to The Dominican Ministry of Public Health and Welfare, and La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro Inc, street dogs and cats in Latin America present numerous problems for their human counterparts that share the same spaces. External and internal parasites, and zoonotic diseases such as rabies, are risks to human health Intact and unvaccinated animals roam the streets claiming and defending territory, forming packs, and causing fights between animals and occasionally bites and even rabies with humans. Free roaming populations of dogs and cats present traffic dangers on the roadways, and their feces and urine add to health risks in neighborhoods (Rosario 2008). As reported by a study in Brazil, dogs and cats were found to be hosts of numerous parasites that impact their well being, and it was demonstrated that a portion of these parasites can switch hosts to humans (Dantas Torres & Otranto, 2014). The article urged that dog and cat parasites are serious from a veterinary as well as a medical standpoint. This study submitted that parasite transmission and contamination by dogs and cats is due in part to large populations of stray animals in the cities, but also due to lack of proper sanitary and health education of some pet owners. To conclude, the authors urged collaboration between veterinary practitioners and medical physicians to work towards the health of both animals and humans (Dantas Torres & Otranto, 2014).
48 A study of dogs concerning rabies vaccination practices in Bolivia urged that rabies is "still one of the most important public health problems in Latin Ameri ca."; the study noted that free roaming dogs present a major issue to combat rabies transmission, and community education is needed to restrict movement of dogs (Frias, Lopez, Mutineli, Pereira, Pons, & Suzuki, 2008). An additional article from Mexico echoes that dogs serve as "reservoirs for zoonotic parasites." (Martinez Gordillo, Peralta Abarca, & Ponce Macotela, 2005). A study from Sao Paulo Brazil about ticks suggested that the most serious infestations of ticks were detected on urban dogs, in cont rast to rural dogs, emphasizing the significance of studying dogs in urbanized contexts like that of my study, Santiago, DR (Cunha, Szabo, Pinter, & Vicentini, 2001). Finally, a study in the region of Salvador Brazil indicates large populations of stray dogs in the streets are detrimental and that "parasitic zoonosis in dogs affects public health systems, especially in developing countries that are at a socio economic disadvantage." (Alcantara Nevesb, Barrouin Melo, Dattoli, Medonca, Regis, & Medonca, 201 1). As observed during my work with La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro Inc (FAEP), a registered nonprofit pet rescue and animal welfare organization in Santiago, DR during June of 2014 and as noted by Gerly in M aking a Life with Dogs and Cats, the concept of p e t is a cultural construct and intersects with ideas about race, class, and gender (Gerly, 2010). In Santiago, thoughts about pet keeping, sterilization, pure breeds, mixed breeds, and street animals are mutually intertwined with cultural norms and perceptions unique to the Dominican Republic. This research project seeks to analyze and shed light on some of these relationships and intersections, and use these understandings to create strategies to best combat the public health issues associated with street animals and pets, working
49 towards a better community for human and animal residents in collaboration with La Fundacion de Animals en Peligro. Caution must be exercised and diverse community stakeholders need to be involved throughout the process of change as a nimal righ ts and a nimal organizations and campaigns run the danger of being perceived as another form of neocolonialism, bringing their ideas, projects, and volunteers to ci vilize the region, as stated in Centering Animals in Latin American History (Few & Tortorici 2013). The idea of linking animal rights campaigns to neocolonialism is voiced to avoid imposing culturally inappropriate ideas and structures on a community. I firmly stand against the ideas rooted in stage and evolutionary theories that Latin America needs to ev olve and treat animals as cuddly pets that are adorned with diamond collars, receive regular professional grooming, and sleep with their owners in bed. There is not one right or wrong way to keep animals as pets. It is for this reason that I have chosen to collaborate heavily with FAEP, as they are Dominican founded and managed. The project collaborates primarily with an animal welfare and adoption organization based out of Santiago that is managed by Dominican veterinarian Gisselle Santos Diaz called La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro, with whom I worked with during June and July of 2014 and 2015. The issues addressed above clearly indicate a need for more sustainable management practices of stray dog s, both in the Miami area and the Dominican Republic. In both cases, a reduction of stray animal populations would benefit human and animal residents. There is a justified need for an approach that incorporates and acknowledges cultural influences and norms about pets, increased education about responsible pet ownership, increased avenues to relinquish a pet that can no longer be cared for, increased spay/neuter programs, etc. Arguably, the link between culture and
50 attitudes and practices about pet keeping should be addressed to create a more sustainable environment, and as of now this social aspect that influences many factors about pet ownership and animal care, has been largely ignored. Institutions and Stakeholders Various institutions have a sta ke in combatting the problems that arise from street animals, notable among them are Humane Society International (HIS), the World Health Organization (WHO), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), and local governments and their associated departments of public health. Humane Society International (HSI) has dedicated a pillar of its resources towards street animal welfare. HSI holds education at the core of their work with street animals and emphasizes the training of veterinarians in spay/neuter procedures, collaboration with local organizations, and public education campaigns (Humane Society International, 2015) Rabies, perhaps the issue that has attracted the most attention regarding street animals, is another focus of HSI, working on vaccination in tandem with sterilization clinics. Notably, HSI emphasizes the link between human health and animal welfare as a rally to involve stakeholders and interest groups outside of the animal welfare realm ; human health concerns are a focus not only for their own sake, but as major motivation for governments to deal effectively with street animal overpopulation issue s (Humane Society International, 2015). Complimenting this sentiment, they call on city and county governments to provide instruments to create solutions for people and animals of their communities. HSI offers outlines of successful implementation of animal control programs in developing countries, integrating legislative, education, and sterilization fundamental components (Humane Society International, 2015). Other suggested
51 actions include enforcing laws, rescuing mistreated animals, the humane euthanasia of certain animals, licensing of dogs and cats, availability of low cost spay/neuter programs, and public education. Other international institutions have also made street animals and public health foci of their attention and resources in the developing world and Latin America. Rabies, a zoonotic disease that is often fatal, is perhaps the most pub licized interception between street animals and humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers it a neglected disease worldwide and an area of major public health concern, with over 99% of all human rabies cases in Latin America being caused by bites or scratches from infected dogs (Clavijo, Cosivi, Espinal, Jose Belotto, Knoble, Leanes, Schneider, Silva, & Vigilator 2013). Most victims are children and lower income populations in the outskirts of large cities. In the 1980s, a program coordinated by the Pan American Health Organization, a branch of the WHO, spurred commitment to a reduction of human and animal rabies cases in Latin America and the production of over 51 million annual doses of canine vaccine for intensive vaccination efforts (Clavijo et al., 2013). The program involved strong political commitment to multinational efforts, as well as local governments, NGOs, animal welfare organizations, local health networks, and public private partnerships. As a result, Latin America saw dram atic decreases in rabies incidence, with only seven countries still declaring dog transmitted rabies in humans, including the Dominican Republic. In 2015 there were five total human rabies cases in Latin America, two of which from the Dominican Republic (Pan American Health Organization, 2015) The Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba have not consistently implemented mass canine vaccination due to a lack to resources, and a more steady supply of vaccines is
52 suggested for improved public health results in t hese countries (Clavijo et al., 2013). In addition, training and motivation of health center employees to facilitate rabies education and participation in vaccination campaigns, control of the canine population, and multi stakeholder involvement is needed to eliminate dog transmitted human rabies in the region (Clavijo et al., 2013). The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the US and UK, is an example of another institution working in developing regio ns vested in f reeing people and animals from the threat of rabie s (Global Alliance for Rabies Control, 2014). The organization emphasizes a shift from government dependent to a community led movement, involving many community sectors such as volunteers, teachers, veterinarians, children, etc. Again, they echo other organizations concerned with street dogs and a key tenet of this paper in emphasizing education and bringing rabies and dog bite education into school curriculums. The Caribbean Welfare Confere nce held in coordination with the Secretary of Public Health and Social Assistance during 2008 in the Dominican Republic concerning the role of the government in prevention of rabies and animal protection listed problems generated by street animals. These problems include: aggression, especially with children, transmission of rabies and other zoonotic diseases, feces, dispersion of trash, traffic accidents, and the image of social backwardness in communities (Rosario, 2008). According to these institutions, factors that generate the presence of street animals consist of the following: lack of education in the community about the responsibility that comes with having animals, lack of adequate regulation to own animals especially in urban and semi urban areas, insufficient economic resources, lack of political volition, little health services in local governments, and lack of legislation that addresses aspects
53 of animal control and care (Rosario, 2008). The conference centers on the role of the government speci fically in mitigating and combatting problems resulting from street animals. They call on the government to subsidize nonprofit institutions to enable them to facilitate programs to solve issues for animals and humans. Moreover, they suggest local governme nts, or ayuntamientos collaborate with institutions in charge of the keeping of animals, and to aid in creating consciousness about the responsibilities of the human population with regards to animal keeping. The report attempts to explain the functioning of animal control centers and shelters, a relatively new concept in the Dominican Republic, and argue in favor of their installation and strengthening. The report highlights animal control centers and shelters and specifies six important potential capacities they possess to serve the community regarding street dogs and cats. Firstly, their operations will permit local governments to clean the city, and secondly they will create a consciousness in the community about owning and living with animals. Thirdly, effective shelters and animal control centers in operation will reduce the risk of disease transmission, aggression, and accidents, and fourthly will control dog populations in high volume areas like dumps and parks. Fifthly, these facilities will advance basic sanitation through disposal of dead animals, and lastly serve to reduce environmental pollution with urine and dead bodies (Rosario, 2008). There is a vast lack of any structured animal control or sheltering system in the Dominican Republic, and this institutional absence is a major contributing factor to the street animal population and associated problems. Framework of Study The literature review for this project primarily covers materials from recent decades and present day, with a few sources commenting on animals during times of
54 colonization. Literature materials consulted come from a variety of geographic locations, but the majority have a US or Latin America focus. However, materials from Australia, Europe, Canada, and beyond are consulted, though more scarcely encountered. Due to existing connections with La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro (FAEP), and personal familiarity with the city, the primary data collection for the project took place spanning two months in June and July of 2015 in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Santiago is the second largest city in the Dominican Republic with almost a million residents in the metropolitan area and a large population of street dogs and cats. According to the Department of Pu blic Health, there is approximately 1 dog for every 10 people in Santiago, creating an approximation of 100,000 dogs. Additional, supplementary research also took place in other regions and cities in the Dominican Republic, with the collaboration of the partner organization FAEP. FAEP is a unique animal rescue organization in the Dominican Republic, because the few others in existence are largely foreign run NGOs, while FAEP is Dominican run. The main population of study is residents of Santiago, and the project includes research and partnerships with various members of the community, including veterinarians, the department of public health, members of the press, teachers, local NGOs, employees of public transportation, etc. The project also necessitated study of secondary sources regarding nonhuman populations, namely the pet and street dogs and cats of Santiago; however I did not personally gather any biophysical animal data for this project.
55 CHAPTER 4 LITERATURE R EVIEW This thesis looks at studying stray dogs and cats in urban life in the Dominican Republic, and how aspects of culture, attitudes, and practices about pets and pet keeping interact with efforts of rescue groups to mitigate some of the issues facing the animals and their human counterparts in society. After some investigation of the literature, I found that little is written about regarding my specific topic. However, I will cover a variety of literature on the broader topic of animals in Latin Amer ica, subdivided into three sections for the purposes of this review: animals in history, animals as pets and commodities, and animals and public health. This analysis of the literature will begin with a wide scope, examining literature that discusses a broad array of animal species and regions of Latin America, and conclude with a much narrower focus with pieces on stray dogs and cats in the Dominican Republic. Several key concepts and theoretical perspectives pertinent to my work will be outlined, such as anthropomorphism, commodification, capital, etc. with reference to literature discussed here. I have opted to include various realms and types of literature, including reports from the Dominican Ministry of Public Health to demonstrate how dynamic and multifaceted the topic of stray dogs and cats in the Dominican Republic is. Moreover, I will highlight the different scholarly, professional and applied backgrounds of the authors who write on related topic s. Finally, I will address weaknesses in the literature, some of the challenges associated with this topic, and then detail my proposed contribution to the literature and hopes for the future of the topic. Animals in History The first literature realm I will cover is animals in the history of Latin America. Few and Centering Animals in Latin American History (2013), offers a
56 refreshing and unique look at Latin American history. Few and Tortorici are both colonial historians by disciplin e, and accordingly the book seeks to fill a void of research on the animals of Latin America in colonial and post colonial literature and challenge dualisms such as human animal, and wild domestic, which have traditionally been discursively prevalent regarding animals in historical Latin America. The book introduces the concept of animal agency and forces readers to acknowledge the variety of ways that animals have been categorized throughout history, such as vectors of disease, commodities, raw materi als, agents of progress, and symbols of the state. The book proclaims its relevancy to the present with a historical and theoretical discussion of animal rights, and reveals the centrality of this issue to the work when stating that the proceeds of the book will be donated to animal welfare organizations in Latin America. Overall, the authors note that c entering animals leads to a more complex historiography in the conventional se nse. (Few & Tortorici, 2013). This book lays the groundwork for my work on animals in Latin America, and provides my research with several noteworthy points. The first being the concept of animals as a bsent presences: there, but not speaking in historical archives, and even in modern society. This concept has also been attributed to other marginalized societal groups in the scholarship. For example, Few and Tortorici describe how the indigenous Maya were systematically degraded and popularly categorized together with animals, and how during the Special Period in Cuba, th e oxen were acclaimed as the most f aithful ally to the African slave in agricultural labor (Few & Tortorici, 2013). The concept of absent presences is useful when thinking about how animals and marginalized peoples have been silenced from historical narratives, and when considering how histories were careful constructed by dominant powers to exclude these populations. The second major point
57 that was relevant to my research was learning of the roots of legislation enacted and foundations created that were dedicated to protecting animal welfare and rights. In 1882, the Sociedad Cubana Protectora de Animales y Plantas was founded and legislation to prevent and punish cruelty to animals was sanctioned. Since my work centers on animal welfare in the Caribbean, this background history of institutional animal welfare in the region is foundational. The second major historical work on animals in Latin America is, Bringing the Animals Back in: Writing Quadrupeds into the Environmental History of Latin America and the Caribbean (2011), by Derby. This work does a thorough job of highlighting the role of animals and spirituality throughout history in various places in Latin America. Several examples include animals playing the role of totemic spirits amo ng the Maya of Guatemala which hold protective powers, guinea pigs in Andean culture are used to diagnose illness and in healing rites to remove malevolent spirits, and in Cuban Santeria and Haitian Vodou live chickens are passed over the body to absorb malevolent spirits. Similarly to Few Derby states that animals ha ve remained marginalized from social history. And this is quite an omission when you consider that many subcultures of the Americas perceive the human animal boundary as quite porous indeed (Derby, 2011). Another common theme amongst these two works that analyze animals in Latin American history is the challenging of the meanings of concepts such as wilderness, forest, nature, and beast. These concepts shaped and continue to influence ideas about colonization and indigenous peoples. The author concludes with a sentiment urging the expansion of scholarship on the topic and the possible benefits associated with this, including the deepening of knowledge about rural societies, and understanding the complexities of animals as symbolic vehicles in Latin American culture. In sum, it is
58 clear that a wide array of animal species have played numerous political, economic, social, and religious roles in every country in Latin America, yet they have largely been marginalized in the literature. Few and Tortorici note that in order to center animals in Latin American history, humans must be simultaneously de centered, one of the fundamental challenges of writing animals in to history. Few and Tortorici and Derby make significant contributions and effective arguments for a more multifaceted look at Latin American history that appropriately highlights animals and their significance. Finally, looking specifically at the history of Hispaniola, the island which makes up the countries of the Dominican Republic and Haiti today, Street notes that t he origin of the feral cattle and horses of Hispaniola was primarily Spanish, of the goats and guinea hens African, and of the pigs, dogs, cats, donkeys, and sheep indeterminate but probably Spanish in his work Feral Animals in Hispaniola (Street, 1962). piece comes from the discipline of geography, and includes several fragments of information about feral dogs on the island. As early as 1526, historical accounts described feral dogs as formidable predators preying on cattle populations; later in 1701, feral dogs were noted to be n umerous on the island (Street, 1962). work serves to compliment the more ethnographical accounts by Few and Tortorici and Derby, and take a more specific look at Hispaniola, rather than the entire region of Latin America. Animals as Pets and Commodities The second realm of literature that I distinguish for the purposes of reviewing animals in Latin America is animal human relations, specifically animals as pets, and animals as commodities. M aking a Life with Dogs and Cats in the Densely Populated City of Hong Kong: Pet Keeping as a Culturally Constructed Practice and How it Shapes Consumption, Identity and Lifesty le (2010) by Gerly thesis from a student of
59 Lund University that effectively analyzes the case study of Hong Kong and the multiple roles that pets play in everyday events and more engrained notions of culture. Gerly employs a human ecology lens to analyze pet keeping in Hong Kong, which looks at the relationships between humans, nature, and society, or more specifically environmental issues and conflicts, social institutions and cultural constructions, and also human experiences and meaning (Gerly, 2010). This thesis did an excellent job of explaining dominant theoretical currents behind the practice of pet keeping and animals in society. Several theorists and theoretical concepts from Gerly will serve as important foundations for my work, the first being understandings of pets as human companions. Wilson defined biophilia as th e connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life and noted that this is determined by our biology (Gerly, 2010). Gerly designated that Keller and Wilson ( 1993) described biophilia as the innately emotional affiliation of human be ings to other living organisms, d cats are rooted in our biology The second key theoretical concept utilized by Gerly is anthropomorphism, which also addresses the intricacies of keeping pets as companions. Gerly states that Horowitz (2007) explained anthropomorphism as the assignmen t of human characteristics to objects, events, or non human animals and regarded it as one of the greatest imports to the present study of human animal inter actions (Gerly, 2010). Gerly explains how anthropomorphism is a device that is commonly employed in literature and the media to evoke emotion and project a sense of humanity onto animal characters, listing many popular examples including Mickey Mouse and Garfield. Furthermore, the human characteristics ascribed to animals are usually in reference to t heir personalities or disposition, for example, owls are perceived as wise (Gerly, 2010).
60 The third critical theoretical concept in the study of animal human relations that is discussed by Gerly is of culture capital, which reflects on the idea of pets as commodities. Bourdieu suggests that there are various types of capital, and cultural capital is a symbolic type of capital which is reflective of power relations distinctions of cultural taste are understood to be classifications based on ranks of power rather than being found on either universal aesthetic criteria or individual choice (Gerly, 2010). Applied to pets, this concept of culture capital manifests in people owning a ccessory dogs and cats which ascribe them to a higher status in society, such as a purebred Persian cat, or a Portuguese water dog, which was marked with power after US President Obama kept one in the White House. capital demonstrates how pets are commoditized and imbued with cultural symbols which denote status and power in society. Overall, Gerly presents an excellent and encompassing case study of the culture of pet keeping in Hong Kong and provides a strong review of prominent theoretical constructs used to study animals. Although this cas e is not in Latin America, many concepts, ideas, and methodologies are transferable to the study of stray dogs and cats as well as pets in the Dominican Republic. Perhaps the most important and most closely relatable piece of literature to my own research is the book Po tcakes: Dog Ownership in New Providence, the Bahama s (2005) by Fielding, Mathers, and Isaacs. The three authors come from different yet related backgrounds, such as veterinarians, employees for the department of agriculture, and activists for various animal welfare causes. The book focuses on human dog interactions in the Bahamas, covers an impressive array of very diverse related topics, uses solid quantitative data conveniently displayed in tables and graphs to back up their arguments, and i s supplemented by qualitative analysis. The title comes from the
61 colloquial term with various meanings, po but can be most totally be described as a m ongrel dog of no definable breed (Fielding, Mather, & Isaacs, 2005). This piece of literature expresses a common line of thinking about stray animals, using the example of the potcake, noting that these animals hang in the balance of a societal paradox. On one hand, potcakes are an appraised national symbol of the Bahamas, and on the other a nuisance that is unwanted and should be disposed of. The authors demonstrate that issues surrounding stray dogs are vast and reach into various societal sectors such as public health, education, legality, and Pet T ourists a nd Roaming T he Role of Dogs in Household Ec onomic Aspects of Dog Health Issues Related to and Cr uelty to offer just a sample of all the topics covered in the book. The authors reach several key points that have imperative implications for my research and attitudes and practices regarding stray dogs. The first comes from the chapter on Resp onsibilities of Owners Towards and finds that dogs whose health is maintained from an early age has proven to reduce a number of problematic behaviors and associated issues later on. This points to a larger theme that runs throughout the book, which upholds that a more educated understanding and better care and welfare for dogs will correlate with improved societa l conditions in a range of ways for the human residents of the Bahamas. Essentially, taking better care of dogs will directly and mutually benefit humans in multiple ways. A second critical argument by the authors that again emphasizes mutually beneficial strategies and solutions regarding stray dogs is that dogs should be seen as co sufferers of disease rather than making people think that they will catch diseases from dogs. Human health is perhaps the most concerning and threatening aspect of stray dogs, so the authors argue that improving the health of dogs
62 will correlate with reduced risks and improved health for humans. Aspects of stray dogs and public health will be further explored in the literature later in this review. The third main theme communicated in this piece of literature that has far reaching implications for this sector of research is that cultural context is of critical significance in understanding and creating campaigns and strategies to solve problems related to dogs. The authors repeatedly advise about the significance of local context, noting u nless animal control/care strategies are sensitive to these cultural issues, programs designed to control pet numbers may meet with resistance, which could be rooted in issues such as sexuality, identity, and cla ss ( Fielding et al., 2005). To demonstrate, a sterilization campaign targeting male owners was tried in the Bahamas based off of unsupported assumptions and was criticized by the authors as a n example of uncritically transferring observations from elsewhere and assuming that they can be applied here (Fielding et al., 2005). Finally, a last concept that is useful for research on stray dogs and cats in Latin America was the notion that people do not love their animals because they care for them in different ways. The book adamantly refutes the conception occasionally carried by tourists and other outsiders that Bahamians do not love their dogs; according to their research findings, the role of a pet varies with context and extensive interviews reveal that Bahamian residents do in fact harbor feelings of attachment and love for their dogs. This point returns full circle to the importance of considering cultural context, including the fundamental definition of what consti tutes a and what is defined as pet In general, the book is an exceptional model of the assessment of the effects of dogs and humans sharing the same spaces. Literature on the subject matter in the Caribbean is sparse, and such broad and deep accounts as Potcakes are rare overall. However, it
63 is a relatively short book at 144 pages excluding appendices. A critique of mine would be to expand and further each chapter as to provide more in depth analysis of the various issues. Overall, this was an incredible source for the field of stray dog human relations as well as my own research interests and will be imperative for my future work. The next source, from the field of business and marketing, further demonstrates the diverse and far reachin g implications of understanding concepts of pet and pet keeping for Latin America. The data is from Euromonitor International, a private firm that provides business intelligence and marketing reports to industry, and although I was not able to access the entire report without purchasing it, it does provide one very noteworthy trend and adds depth to a literature review on animals in Latin America as well as justification for further research. The most significant finding from the report, relevant to litera ture on pet keeping, is By 2016, Brazil will usurp Japan as the second largest pet care market, behind only the US. Retail prospects remain strong, as urbanization continues, disposable incomes rise, and more consumers turn to pets for companionship. As Latin Americans move from pet ownership to pet p arenthood opportunities will arise for those manufacturers savvy enough to seize them (Euromonitor International, 2012). This report suggests that several important things are happening with regard to animals in Latin America; economies are getting stronger which supports the practice of pet ownership, and the region is seeing a transfer of attitudes about animals, from one of utility to one of companionship. Therefore, this source, though outside of traditional academic literature, is important for inclusion because it is indicative of prevailing trends on pet ownership in Latin America, suggesting that pets are becoming of increased importance, and offers a business perspective to c ompliment the other segments of literature.
64 Nutritional Sustainability of Pet Foods, Advances in Nutrition (2013) By Carter, Swanson, Yount, Aretz, and Buff incorporates ecological, social and economic aspects of the sustainability of pet food. This piece is relatable to the theme of animals and business and marketing as it provides insight on pet food as a profitable business in the US market, and places a sense of responsibility on pet food companies to consider sustainability (Aretz, Buff, Carter, Swanso n, & Yount, 2013).The last source related to animals and business that I found relevant to my research was that of An imal Conservation, Carbon and Sustainability (2002) by Leader Williams. This source looks into the idea of species conservation and environmental sustainability. Advanced theoretical arguments are framed around issues like private property, community based conservation, etc. The article also lists some policy and international agreements that have been made concerning animal and biodiv ersity conservation such as CITES (Leader Williams, 2002). Animals and Public Health The third realm of literature that I chose to subdivide this review of animals in Latin America into is animals and public health. Organizations like the World Health Organization, United Nations, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have named rabies a priority and dedicated extensive resources to eliminating canine transmitted rabies in humans through mass vaccination, public education campaigns, and management of free roaming dog populations (World Health Organization, 2015). Academic literature does exist that is focused on understanding and mitigating canine rabies, such as C anine ecology and socioeconomic factors associated with dogs unvaccinated against rabies in a Mexican city across the US Mexico border (2004) by Flores Ibarraa, and Estrella Valenzuela. This study comes from the discipline of
65 preventative veterinary medicine and focuses on reducing the risk of rabies for canine and human populations through vaccination campaigns. Furthermore, this study is vital because the authors focus on identifying socioeconomic and ecological factors that impact aspects of dog ownership and public health This is quite unique in the literature because it unites aspects of culture and public health with regards to pet and stray animals. The main thesis of this piece is that socioeconomic factors impact perceptions and practices related to vaccination and sterilization of dogs, and therefore efforts to address issues of human health (Estrella Valenzuela & Flores Ibarra, 2004). For example, the study identified that cross bred dogs and dogs that were not purchased were found to have higher rates of nonvaccination, correlated with areas of low income, and a lower perceived value of the animal. The second major striking conclusion was that the authors and research results were supportive of sterilization in combatting rabies; the study determined that the presence of female, unsterilized dogs in heat was found to increase do g to dog interaction and conflict, fostering rabies transmission. This is extremely pertinent to my own research interests and goals, as well as the future of research on animals and public health. Sterilization, or the surgical removal of an reproductive organs that eliminates their ability to produce offspring, is a contentious issue. However, this study supports sterilization in simultaneously bettering human and animal health. Sterilization was also a topic in Potcakes although in that cas e the authors analyzed attitudes and actions towards neutering, finding that the concept of anthropomorphism, as described by Gerly, works negatively against sterilization in the case of the Bahamas. To explain, human sexuality was projected onto dogs by their owners, for example many people noted that fixing a male dog removed its maleness, or
66 that fixing a dog makes it sexually frustrated, even that many people equated sexual needs to human needs and thought of dogs in human terms (Fielding, et al., 2005). Furthermore, animal rescue and welfare organizations in Latin America, like L a Fundacion de Animales en Peligro (FAEP) in the Dominican Republic, support sterilization and mass vaccination in order to better the lives of both stray dogs and cat s and their human counterparts and actively work to enact these strategies in their communities (Animales en Peligro, 2013). Here we can see some of the intersections of the various realms and pieces of literature on animals in Latin America at work. Prog ress towards eliminating canine rabies: policies and perspectives from Latin America and the Caribbean by Clavijo et al ., (2013), and R ol del Gobierno en la Prevencion de la Rabia y la Proteccion Anima by Rosario (2008) in conjunction with the Secretara de Estado de Salud Pblica y Asistencia Social of the Dominican Republic both discuss the impacts of canine rabies on public health and society. Clavijo et al. (2013), find that in the Dominican Republic, mass vaccination has not been implemented consistently due to a lack of resources, so a consistent stream of supplies is required to effectively combat rabies and improve vaccination campaigns (Clavijo et al., 2013). The authors argue that it is possible to completely eliminate human rabies transm itted by dogs in the Dominican Republic and other areas, emphasizing the implementation of local, context specific strategies, as noted earlier was accentuated by Fielding, Mather, & Issac in Potcakes (2005). Clavijo et al.,(2013), also emphasize intersectional communication and assistance between regional and global organizations like the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization, and local communities. The report by Rosario and the Dominican Ministry of Public Health compleme nts this article, and also noted statistics researched by the PAHO, such that with the exception of
67 Bolivia, the Dominican Republic has the highest number of canine rabies cases in an average decade in the Americas (Rosario, 2008). Additional reports by the Dominican Ministry of Public Health listed demographic data; in 2012, the total human population in the Dominican Republic was 10,135,105, while the dog population was 1,266,888 (Dominican Ministry of Public Health, 2012). Furthermore, in 2009, there were 178,740 total cats and dogs vaccinated in preventative efforts, in 2010 1,052,880 vaccinated, and in 2012 50,043 vaccinated (Dominican Ministry of Public Health, 2012). Rosario goes further to list problems associated with stray dogs and cats in the Dominican Republic, naming attacks (on primarily children), the transmission of rabies and other zoonotic diseases, defecation, the dispersion of garbage, traffic accidents, the image of social backwardness in communities as the main issues (Rosario, 2008). Also noteworthy, this account ascribes responsibility to care for stray dogs and cats and to solve the associated issues to human beings, stating Es el hombre quin ha permitido que el perro se reproduzca de forma indiscriminada, creando un serio p roblema de salud (Rosario, 2008). This report moreover offers explanation of the factors driving the presence of street animals, including a lack of education of the population on the responsibilities and liabilities involved with animal keeping, appropriate regulations for animal keeping speci fic ally in urban and semi urban areas, insufficient financial resources, and lack of political will and legislation (Rosario, 2008). Humane Society International, the largest animal protection organization in the world, mirrors these and other ideas that have been presented in various areas of literature examined to combat the problems associated with stray dogs and cats. For example, they list the enforcement of laws, creation of low cost sterilization campaigns, and public education programs as necessary for animal control (Humane Society International, 2015). Also
68 similarly to other pieces of literature, they reiterate the importance of context specific solutions, though they perhaps differ from other works in stating that they have a tran sferable model that can be adapted and implemented in various locales (Humane Society International, 2015). Hoffman, Creevy, & Promislow (2013) conducted research that found the lifespan of sterilized, or spayed/neutered dogs, was greater than with reproductively intact dogs. The article notes that the American and Canadian Veterinary Medical Associations, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Humane Society of the United States all recommend sterilization, and that in North America 50 75% of pet dogs are electively sterilized (Creevy, Hoffman, & Promislow, 2013). They find that female dogs sterilized prior to reaching sexual maturity are unlikely to develop mammary cancer and less likely to display dominance aggression. Intact male dogs were found more likely to roam and fight with other dogs, behaviors that increase the risks of both infectious and traumatic means of death. We have seen several common challenges and propo sed solutions from various types of literature on stray dogs and cats and associated public health issues, yet there still exist significant gaps and challenges to the literature on animals in Latin America. Challenges Various challenges are associated with the study of animals in Latin America. In Centering Animals one chapter on seal hunting in Patagonia is particularly useful in demonstrating such challenges (Soluri, 2013). For example, with this particular case, the historical archives logging seal encounters are scattered and fragmented, marine mammals are absent from the majority of literature, and there is an inherent difficulty in tracking seals because of their underwater behaviors that span national borders (Few &
69 Tortorici, 2013). Though these specific challenges vary depending on region and animal species, continuities exist largely due to the fact that animals have not been prioritized or given a voice in literature. Perhaps the most difficult challenge that is involved with studying ani mals in the literature in Latin America is that, in order to center animals, humans must simultaneously be de centered (Few & Tortorici, 2013); Few and Tortorici describe one of the main purposes and challenges of their book being the difficulties of repositioning animals in a history written by humans for humans. Many scholars acknowledge the need to further literature on animals in Latin America; Derby states that An imals have long provided a crucial nexus between man and the land, but as yet remain invisible in much of the literature (Derby, 2011). There is a sheer lack of academic literature in general, and I am in agreement with the majority of scholars that expanding research topics and projects on animals in Latin America would benefit this newly emerging and sparsely populated field immensely. It is my aim and hope that my research will contribute to filling some of these gaps and adding more to the literature on animals in Latin America, specifically the intersections between culture and public health regarding stray dogs and cats. The purpose of my research is twofold; first, to contribute to the limited scholarship in the field of Latin American Studies that examines relations between people and animals in sociocultural context. Second, to contribute to ongoing efforts to address human health issues associated with feral animals and free roaming pets, reduce animal suffering, and work towards healthier environments for human and animal residents. Few and To rtorici (2013) aim to describe how human history has been profoundly shaped by animals, and look at how the roles of different animals have been shaped by cu lturally and theologically determined one particular moment
70 in history My work hopes to complement this idea by exploring some of the meanings and practices concerning stray dogs and cats in Santiago, Dominican Republic. As reviewed earlier in this essay, anthropomorphism was defined as the assignment of human characteristics to objects, events, or non human anima ls and regarded as one of the greatest imports to the present study of human animal interactions (Gerly, 2010). During my previous time in the Dominican Republic working with a rescue organization called La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro (FAEP), one woman stated that it would not be right to spay her dog because it would deprive her of the experience of motherhood, an example of anthropomorphism. My study seeks to understand these anthropomorphizing perspectives in the context of sociocultural understandings of and relations between humans and stray dogs and cats in the Dominican Republic. Furthermore, as addressed and discussed earlier, cross bred dogs and dogs that were not purcha sed were found to have higher rates of nonvaccination, correlated with areas of low income and a lower perceived value of the animal (Estrella Valenzuela & Flores Ibarra, 2004). Additionally, the presence of female, unsterilized dogs in heat was found to increase dog to dog interaction and conflict, fostering rabies transmission (Estrella Valenzuela & Flores Ibarra, 2004). This evidence and other in the literature suggests that exploring understandings of factors that impact decision making concerning sterilization and pet adoption could prove advantageous in helping animal welfare organizations like Humane Society International and FAEP in the Dominican Republic, create more effective campaigns to mitigate animal suffering and improve human health. To summarize, I broke down the literature on animals in Latin America into three realms for the purposes of organization, and to demonstrate the wide array of academic
71 disciplines and other types of literature on the subject. The three realms were animals in history, animal human relations, specifically animals as pets, and animals as commodities, and finally animals and public health. My review of the literature began with a very broad look at numerous animal species throughout Latin America, and concluded with literature more closely aligned with my topic of stray dogs and cats in the Dominican Republic. I highlighted key theoretical frameworks, concepts, and major issues discussed in the literature surrounding animals in Latin America, as w ell as pointed out challenges associated with the field, and weakness in the literature. Lastly, I briefly described how my research will contribute to the future of the field.
72 CHAPTER 5 RESULTS AND FINDINGS This section reports and analyzes the findings generated by my research that included twenty six in depth interviews, eleven focus groups, and thirty card ranking activities were conducted in Santiago, Dominican Republic; analysis of printed materials from various sources and institutions; statistics g athered from various sources; and photographs of various types of urban environments and neighborhoods of varying socioeconomic statuses to help visually demonstrate the physical landscapes in question. Findings were also compiled in field notes and journal entries from various events, outings, and experiences. The above section on research methodology describes these methods, and specific instruments are detailed in appendices. In the following discussion, material from these findings is brought to bear on six realms of consideration: (1) Factors that Motivate and Demotivate People to Sterilize Dogs and Cats, (2) Negative and Positive Health Effects and Impacts from Street Dogs and Cats, (3) Factors that Influence Ownership of Pure Breed Vs. Mixed Breed Dogs and Cats, (4) Factors that Influence Ownership of Male Vs. Female Dogs and Cats, (5) Roles and Functions of Dogs and Cats in Dominican Society, (6) Sources of Knowledge About Pets and Pet Care, and calculated. First, interview findings are pre sented in each realm, then an analytic discussion brings these together with other materials to illuminate the main questions of this research. Factors that Motivate and Demotivate People to Sterilize Dogs and Cats Among responses in interviews and focus g roups, 112 total responses were recorded regarding this topic. Twelve most common answers were found. The
73 most common answers from total responses, including factors that motivate and demotivate, are as follows, (1) To not get pregnant/have too many animals/reduce overpopulation, (2) Too expensive/high cost of operation/lack of money and economic resources, (3) The desire for an entire dog in its natural state/containing all biological parts/Intact is more natural/Intact is healthier, (3) The desire to breed intact animals/to respect the sexual desires and needs/to allow the animal to reproduce and have families, (4) Sterilize to promote improved behavior/more calm/to not attract males seeking females in heat/easier to keep contained inside o f a household, (5) Unfamiliar with sterilization/not sure about the procedure/unaware, (6) Not sterilized due to lack of access/infrequent practice, (7) Not sterilized due to lack of trust in veterinarians/dangerous surgery, (7) Sterilize mixed or street animals, but not pure breeds, (8) Intact to prevent extinction/to maintain the breed, (9) Intact due to lack of transportation to veterinary clinics, (9) Sterilize for sexual relations with humans/sex tourism. The most common answers can be separated into two broad categories regarding attitudes and practices concerning the sterilization of dogs and cats: (1) Factors that Motivate People to Sterilize Dogs and Cats, (2) Factors that Demotivate/Discourage People from Sterilizing Dogs and Cats/Factors in Favor of Intact Dogs and Cats. The most common answer that people noted in favor of sterilization is (1) Sterilize to not get pregnant/have too many animals/reduce overpopulation, followed by (2) Sterilize to promote improved behavior/more calm/to not attract males seeking females in heat/easier to keep contained inside of a household, and
74 (3) Sterilize mixed or street animals, but not pure breeds, and lastly (4) Sterilize for sexual relations with humans/sex tourism. The most common answers that participants n oted against sterilization are as follows: (1) Too expensive/high cost of operation/lack of money and economic resources, (2) The desire for an entire dog in its natural state/containing all biological parts/Intact is more natural/Intact is healthier, (3) The desire to breed intact animals/to respect the the animal to reproduce and have families, (4) Not sterilized due to lack of access/infrequent practice, (5) Not sterilized due to lack of trust in veterinarians/d angerous surgery, (5) Sterilize mixed or street animals, but not pure breeds, (6) Intact to prevent extinction/to maintain the breed, and (7) Intact due to lack of transportation to veterinary clinics. Negative and Positive Health Effects and Impacts from Street Dogs and Cats Content in 183 total responses were recorded from focus groups and interviews regarding this topic. The most common, frequently appearing answers with regard to both negative and positive health impacts from street dogs and cats are in order as follows: (1) Sicknesses/diseases, (2) Trash dispersion, (3) Aggression/fear(especially for children)/chasing, (4) Car accidents, (5) Unsightly/emotionally provocative, (6) Rabies, (7) Fleas/ticks/parasites, (8) Bad odor/dirty/hygiene issues, (9) Urine/feces in the streets/environment, (9) Noise/annoying, (10) Street animals keep away delinquents/criminals/lower crime rates, (11) Street animals reduce rodent and insect populations, (12) Contamination, (13) Poison on the streets, (14) Street animals are good for human
75 health/alleviate depression, (14) Allergies, (15) Decreased trash on the streets, (16) Cats kill native species/affect biodiversity. The most common answers can be separated into two threads, (1) negative public health effects from street dogs and cats, and (2) positive public health effects from street dogs and cats. The most frequently occurring answers for (1) negative public health effects from street dogs and cats are: (1) Sicknesses/diseases, (2) Trash dispersion, (3) Aggressio n/fear(especially for children)/chasing, (4) Car accidents, (5) Unsightly/emotionally provocative, (6) Rabies, (7) Fleas/ticks/parasites, (8) Bad odor/dirty/hygiene issues, (9) Urine/feces in the streets/environment, (9) Noise/annoying, (10) Contamination, (11) Poison on the streets, (12) Allergies, (13) Cats kill native species/affect biodiversity. In sum, participants listed 14 negative public health effects from street dogs and cats. The most frequently occurring answers for (2) positive public health e ffects from street dogs and cats include: (1) Street animals keep away delinquents/criminals/lower crime rates, (2) Street animals reduce rodent/insect populations, (3) Street animals are good for human health/alleviate depression, (4) Street animals decre ase trash on the streets. In total, participants listed only 4 positive public health effects from street dogs, in comparison to 14 negative effects. The first positive effect was only listed as the most common response after 10 negative effects. There were 18 total participant responses for positive effects, and 165 total participant responses for negative effects.
76 Factors that Influence Ownership of Pure Breed Vs. Mixed Breed Dogs and Cats Content in 74 total participant responses were recorded for thi s topic. The most common answers in order include: (1) Either/I do not care about breed, (2) Pure breeds are more expensive, (3) Purebred because breed dictates how they will behave, (4) Pure breeds are more trainable/smarter, (4) Mixed because they are easily available/high quantities, (5) Pure breeds are more beautiful/physical appearance, (6) Mixed are more resistant to diseases/adaptable, (6) Mixed have different qualities/characteristics/nicer, (7) Mixed because breeders are bad/unethical, (7) Pure b reeds are just better/more pure, (7) Pure breeds are dangerous, (8) Pure breeds to have a special breed, (8) Pure breeds are preferred status, (8) Mixed are dangerous, (9) Pure breeds are healthier, (9) Pure breeds are best friend, (9) Mixed are better for guarding the house, (9) Mixed breeds do not have value. With the exception of the most common response, Either/I do not care about these can be divided into two broad categories, (1) Responses in favor of pure breeds, and (2) Responses in favor of mixed breeds. The most common responses in favor of pure breeds are as follows: (1) Pure breeds are more expensive, (2) Purebred because breed dictates how they will behave, (3) Pure breeds are more trainable/smarter, (4) Pure breeds are more beautiful/physical appearance, (5)Pure breeds are just better/more pure, (6) Pure breeds to have a special breed, (6) Pure breeds are preferred status, (6) Mixed breeds are dangerous, (7) Pure breeds are healthier, (7) Pure breeds are f riend, (7) Mixed breeds do not have value.
77 The most frequently occurring answers in favor of mixed breeds are: (1) Pure breeds are more expensive, (2) Mixed because they are easily available/high quantities, (2) Mixed breeds are more resistant to diseases/adaptable, (3) Mixed breeds have different qualities/characteristics/nicer, (4) Mixed because breeders are bad/unethical, (2) Pure breeds are dangerous (5) Mixed breeds are better for guarding the house. Overall, there were 11 responses in favor of pure breeds, and 7 responses in favor of mixed breeds, excluding the most common answer Either/I do not care about breed from the tabulations. Factors that Influence Ownership of Male vs. Female Dogs and Cats Content in 33 responses were recorded regarding the topic of preference of ownership of male or female dogs and cats. The most common responses include (1) Males do not breed/have many babies, (2) Both/either, (3) Males due to associated behaviors and effects of heat, (4) Females are more play ful/nicer/better for the house, (5) F emales in order to breed/have children/families, (6) Males because they are male, (5) Females are more beautiful. In sum, males were favored for 3 reasons, females were favored for 3 reasons, and 8 participants responded b oth/eithe r to ownership preferences based on sex. Roles and Functions of Dogs and Cats in Dominican Society Eighty nine total responses were documented surrounding the topic of the roles and functions of dogs and cats in Dominican society. The most common responses are as follows (1) Watchimen/protectors/guard animals/to care for the house, (2) Companions/pets/part of the family/for children, (3) To kill rodents, insects, and pests, (4) To show off money/demonstrate wealth/as accessory
78 items/as items of social status, (4) To serve as police/drug dogs, (6) To fight, (7) To manage livestock/herd cows. Overall, receiving a similar total of responses, the main roles and functions of dogs and cats in the Dominican Republic are protectors, companions, and pest control. Sources of Knowledge About Pets and Pet Care The category of knowledge sources regarding pets and pet care logged 54 total responses. The responses in order of most to least popular find 10 sources of knowledge; (1) Family/the home, (2) A veterinarian or veterinary office, (2) In school, (3) Alone/innate trait of being human, (4) Television/Animal Planet channel, (5) The internet, (6) A university, (7) Magazines, (7) Folklore, and (7) An animal shelter in the United States. The most common answer, learning about pets and pet care from (1) Family/the home received twice as many responses as the next most common answer. Discussion In interviews and focus groups with various members of the Santiago community a variety of recurring themes and topics were highlighted that prove useful for analysis. Interview and focus group questions (listed under Research Methodology) were constructed to elicit responses to compose a picture of the attitudes and practices concerning street dogs and c ats in urban society in the Dominican Republic. The guiding research questions for this study center on exploring and understanding factors that facilitate or constrain a more sustainable relationship between human residents and street dogs and cats of Santiago. The
79 following discussion draws on various research findings and materials in order to illuminate the research questions. Anthropomorphism Anthropomorphism, or the attribution of human traits, ambitions, emotions, or entire behavior to animals, no n human beings, natural phenomena, or objects, is a crucial concept to facilitate a more complex understanding of the interworking between humans and street animals. Many participants described that they thought of their pets as family. Others explained that their pets were like friends to them. Relating dogs and cats to familial and close personal relationships constructed by human society is an overt form of anthropomorphism. Interviewees lovingly termed their animals as kings, princesses, and babies o f their households. When asked if she thought of her pets in human terms, a female elderly restaurant owner responded confidently with of course noting that they feel like a person does, and that animals cry when you hurt them. Connotations between intimate emotions that make us feel vulnerable, like sadness, when tied to animals like our pets function to strengthen perceived similarities and bonds across species. This notion of animals as sentient beings connects humans and nonhuman animals and places them on a different societal and moral plane when compared to beings deemed non sentient or less sentient, like plants. A driver of public transportation complimented the idea of animals as sentient beings and further elevated dogs in the societal hierarchy of nature, noting that dogs are intelligent creatures and should be considered family. Participants skirted the concept of intelligence in more indirect ways as well, responding that their dogs understand them when they ask questions, and tell t heir owners when they need
80 to relieve themselves outside. One man, a security guard at the local government office, joked that his Chihuahua is like a person, and that his wife treats the dog better than himself, making meat for the dog and spaghetti for him. It is clear that residents of Santiago associate the dogs and cats around them with many human characteristics and traits, and this separates them from other nonhuman animals in society. However, when asked if participants thought of their pets in human terms, some responded quite negatively. A journalist for one of the main newspapers in the country responded that no, he loves animals but keeps a distance, and refrains from kissing them or putting clothes on them. The idea of keeping a line betwee n human and animals arose from various participants, which could be connected to the human nature divide commonly seen and referenced in academic literature, where humans are extracted and separated from the atu world. This is in theoretical contrast to more fluid ideas of humanity as just another species of animal seamlessly interconnected with a greater biophysical system that makes up the earth. A veterinary student at a local university was among the handful of participants who brought up anthropo morphism specifically as a relevant concept in his responses, saying that anthropomorphism is something negative and to be avoided; adding that he likes animals, but urges against comparing humans and animals. The human nonhuman animal, or human nature boundary can be analyzed in even more complex ways when pet dogs and cats and street dogs and cats are disaggregated.
81 Comparisons b etween Pets and Street Dogs and Cats Several participants articulated a significant distinction between pets and street animals, stating that a street dog is just a dog, and a pet is part of the family that you feed, bathe, and care for. Pets, in line with this thought, are beings worthy of economic resources, time, and love, like a human household member, while street ani mals are separated from this humanization. On the other hand, some responses intricately connected street dogs specifically with humans. A veterinary student stated that D ominicans [humans] are mixed too, like street dog s That equivalency draws on culturally specific constructions of race that are connected to historical and political events unique to the Dominican Republic. The comparison is very significant in humanizing street dogs in Dominican culture, and upholding their status as valid and sig nificant beings, even though they are of mixed race or breed and background. Many participants implied direct connections between street animals and humans, describing that street animals feel grateful when they are rescued, and they love humans that rescue them. This extension of characteristically human emotions and psychological constructions is again projected onto dogs, building a bond that is special to street animals and humans. These subtle and overt forms of anthropomorphism that humanize make humans of Santiago feel empathetic and connected to the dogs and cats of their city. When asked more explicitly to compare street animals and pets, most participants pointed to vast differences in care, hygiene, and disease risks. Street dogs are commonly accepted to be mistreated, often with injuries or medical problems, full of fleas, ticks, and other parasites, and residing in and consuming
82 trash, as can be seen below in figure 5 1 and 5 2. Though a minority of participants did cite street anim als for their aggression, the majority only avoided street animals in their daily lives due to a fear that stemmed from disease transmission for themselves, their families, and their pets, rather than aggressive behavior. It was stated that living together with street dogs, described in Spanish as convivir, is not easy, because you run the risk of getting diseases. However, with the current situation in Santiago and the Dominican Republic, an absence of any form of institutional or systematic street animal control, living together in close contact with street animals is a part of daily life for residents. Two members of influential news media a reporter from a television channel, and a journalist from a newspaper, each remarked that the media in Santiago portrays street animals as transmitters of diseases and holds a negative perception in general. The journalist deemed them dangerous, frequently bothering people and children especially. The reporter called on the state to provide care and a location to h ouse them. University students commented that street animals are present in the media only when they harm someone, or to advertise vaccination programs. Veterinary university students lamented that the media in Santiago sees street animals as a plague. Pet shop employees suggested that the media should advise residents with proper procedures to take if they find a street animal, a more proactive and advocacy role, rather than reactive and narrative. Clearly, street animals have a dismal track record when it comes to their presence and reputation in the media in Santiago. Responses regarding differences and similarities between street animals and pets varied greatly; some proclaimed that they have nothing in common, with
83 street animals commonly being assoc iated with mixed breeds, and pets being associated with pure breeds. Street animals are connected with disease, parasites, and trash. Street dogs were noted to be more knowledgeable and capable of navigating the streets, a high school math teacher reported that they look for traffic before they cross the street. A very important distinction in the minds of some Santiago residents is the economic and social value of street animals compared to pets. Two unemployed men explained simply that pets have economic value, but street animals do not. They suggested that pets are commoditized and priced, as a good subject to market values, and that no one purchases street animals so they are economically and socially worthless. Another participant integrated economy an d social status, stating that pets are cared for and nurtured, like a child, that pets are like rich children and street animals like poor children. However, some participants affirmed that street animals and pets are the same, just as mixed and pure breeds are the same. A human resources manager at an industrial pet food company said she did not discriminate between mixed and pure breed animals, comparing them to Haitian or white children in the street. The comparison between white and Haitian childre n to pure and mixed breed animals again humanizes dogs and cats, and integrates human concepts of race, ethnicity, and social status with pet ownership and street animals. A pet shop worker suggested that a street dog and a pet dog are both dogs, there is no difference, the only factor is one has a house and one does not. In sum, human residents of Santiago often employ anthropomorphism and apply human traits, behavior, and emotions when thinking of and discussing dogs
84 and cats. Anthropomorphism serves to make the animals in their environment more relatable and humanistic. However, anthropomorphism can manifest in ways that create barriers to initiatives to reduce populations of street dogs and cats, like spay/neuter clinics. This idea will be further explo red with opinions on sterilization. Sterilization Sterilization, or the altering of animals surgically (or chemically) that eliminates their ability to reproduce, is a main strategy to reduce populations of street dogs and cats employed by global animal we lfare and rescue groups, including FAEP. For female animals, the surgery is called spaying, and for males it is called neutering. Spaying involves surgically removing the ovaries and uterus, and neutering involves removing the testicles. There is also an emerging chemical method of sterilization for male dogs that involves injections into the testicles. The injection method does not involve surgery or the removal of any biological parts. Sterilization has been proven to reduce an in o rder to seek sexual partners, reduce the risks of cancers associated with the sexual organs and extend an several years, and lower aggressive behavior associated with competition for sexual partners. For these reasons, in addition to controlling populations of breeding animals, sterilization is championed in the realm of animal welfare. The opposite of sterilized or spayed/neutered is intact, meaning not sterilized, or containing all original biological parts. The first no table result from discussing sterilization with various residents of Santiago is the stark lack of knowledge and awareness of the procedure itself, followed by misinformation and misconceptions about the process. Many people,
85 especially those whom were li ving in semi rural suburbs of low socioeconomic status, did not know what sterilization was. A minority of participants were aware that it was used with traditional farm animals like pigs and bulls, but not with dogs and cats. The lack of knowledge is in itself, a telling observation. This suggests a need for increased information to the general public about sterilization and basic veterinary services. With participants who understood the procedure in medical/scientific terms, opinions regarding sterilizat ion were polarized, with participants tending to be either strongly in favor or strongly opposed to sterilizing dogs and cats. Those in favor of sterilization hailed it as the best way to prevent pregnancy in their pets, to limit their number of animals, and to reduce overpopulation in general. However, the main focus was on sterilizing females, because of a widespread perception that males do not breed, because the females bear the offspring. It was frequently observed form focus groups and interviews t hat exclusively females should be sterilized, because males do not give birth. If male sterilization was mentioned, it was commonly stated that injections should be used to save the biological anatomy and preserve all of their body parts. Further, some participants called the injections more common and economical than spay/neuter surgery. The reluctance to sterilize male animals and the preoccupation with maintaining male biological and sexual identity is linked to cultural concepts of masculinity, feminine subjectivity, and a gender hierarchy. In the Dominican Republic, these are informed by a cultural complex termed machismo, characterized as a strong or exaggerated sense of manliness; an assumptive attitude that virility, courage, strength, and entitlement to dominate are attributes
86 or concomitants of masculinity. To summarize, residents of Santiago often distinguished animals by sex when discussing sterilization, holding favorable opinions for female animals and negative for males. Another disti nction made regarding sterilization preferences was between street animals, mixed animals, and pure breed pets. It was generally stated that street animals should be sterilized to prevent them from breeding and furthering increasing the population, while pure breeds should be left intact to keep producing. One unemployed man agreed with this consensus, saying he always wanted more purebreds, mentioning Chihuahuas in particular, but that there should be an institution to collect and castrate street animals. He went on to describe that sterilized animals serve for anything. A female social worker for the department of public health admitted that her family never thought about sterilization because they always owned purebreds, and people always d esired the offspring. From these participants, it seems animals of pure breed and clear biological lineage are regarded as desirable and ascribed a societal and monetary value, while street animals, presumably of mixed breeds or unknown lineage are undesirable and should be minimized. Further, a television reporter boldly stated that he wants his own animals intact, so he can breed animals are castrated, inferring irresponsible breeding. This response alludes to a moral and paternalistic argument, suggesting certain people are worthy and responsible enough to keep intact pets, while some should be restricted to sterilized animals. The second common response in favor of sterilization was to sterilize to promote improved behavior. Improved behavior can be attributed to many
87 aspects which were detailed by participants including increased calmness, reducing urges to roam and leave the house, making pets easier to contain inside of the household, reducing aggression, and eliminating heat behavior in females which simultaneously eliminates the attraction of males seeking females in heat. One man associated sterilization with domestication, noting that spayed/neutered animals are more calm, domesticated, and do not attack people. Further, unemployed men from a semi rural neighborhood of low socioeconomic status stated that sometimes wild or aggressive dogs, described in Spanish as ravo are sterilized for their behavior. Veterinarians and veterinary students had the most advanced knowledge of sterilization, to be expected, hailing sterilization for controlling behavior, lessening aggression and fighting, reducing marking and guarding behaviors, and eliminating certain problems with the reproductive tract. FAEP describes sterilized animals as listening more attentively to their owners, and more easily focused and controlled than intact animals. FAEP argues that sterilization makes for better suited, well mannered pets for households (La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro, 2013). Alternatively, regarding arguments against the practice of sterilization of dogs and cats can be separated into two categories, structural barriers and sociocultural attitudes and practices. The most common response against the practice of sterilization of dogs and cats centered on a lack of economic resources, the operation being too expensive and a lack of money. Other structural factors included lack of access to sterilization, the infrequency of the practice, and lack of transportation t o veterinary clinics or sterilization locations.
88 The most common impediment that people cited which barred them from sterilizing dogs and cats was lack of economic resources. However, many responses employed social and cultural factors to speak against the practice of sterilization of dogs and cats. Some people were in favor of sterilizing via injections, but opposed to sterilization via surgery, as to save the biological anatomy. It is believed that males need to have all of their biological parts and their testicles are an important and natural part of masculinity and manhood, which is threatened by surgical sterilization. A discourse of dichotomy develops between natural and unnatural, normal and abnormal, when discussing perceptions of sterilization, to where spayed/neutered animals are deemed unnatural and to be avoided. Participants affirmed that they are born with their biological parts in a natural state, and as such they should not be altered and sterilized. Sterilization is critici zed as unnecessary at best and even harmful, cruel and dangerous at worst. Men from a semi rural neighborhood with high volumes of street animals confirmed that having puppies and kittens, giving birth, are positive and natural parts of life, like humans having relationships and children. A dog trainer from Spain ardently specified to keep animals intact, because they were created like that, in their entire form and character, implying that spaying and neutering alters the entire essence and being of the a nimal. Even a Department of Public Health employee under the environmental branch, an institution many Dominicans call on to be responsible for street dogs and cats, was conflicted in her views on sterilization, deeming it unnatural, but potentially beneficial in controlling the populations of street animals.
89 Additionally, a female employee for the Ministry of Environment, who adopted an animal from the rescue group FAEP, perceived active sexual lives with improved health in pets. Further, she believe d that making a decision like sterilization for an animal is not fair and just, because humans cannot obtain their consent, but she admitted to having her own animals sterilized due to lack of ability to care for more pets. These comments highlight the com plexity of attitudes and considerations at play when making decisions regarding sterilization of dogs and cats for residents in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Deeply entrenched with ideas about sterilization are conceptions of male sexuality, manhood, and masculinity. Employees of a veterinary clinic that widely supports the rescue efforts of FAEP with human and economic capital resources, outright blamed machismo sentiments for resistance to sterilization in the Dominican Republic. When asked about the ef fects of neutering on the sexuality of male animals, specifically if neutering makes them sexually frustrated, many responses were unreservedly yes. Two unemployed men in a neighborhood of low socioeconomic status went as far as to say that sterilized ani mals do not serve for any purpose, carrying meaning that the primary function of men and life is reproduction and sexuality. They enthused that the sexual needs of dogs and cats are no different from those of humans, that they are sexually frustrated when neutered, and they enjoy life less when sterilized. One young male worker at a pet shop discussed that sexual frustration of the animal depends on their sexual experience; if sterilized prior to their first sexual encounter the animal would not be frustrat ed, but if sterilized after sexual encounters, the animal will be frustrated and will feel a lack of sexual fulfillment. An employee of an industrial pet food company
90 lamented that animals should not be sterilized for the reason that they should not die as virgins. This comment serves as a particular example of anthropomorphism, utilizing uniquely human conceptions of sexuality, relationships, and virginity, which are all social constructs, to impact pet keeping and street animal practices. One man, a driv er of public transportation, directly connected himself and his sexual needs and desires to those of animals, enthusing jokingly that he would die if sterilized himself! Other men said that male dogs are sad when they are neutered because they like females but cannot do anything because they are neutered. Overall, men more than women seemed to sympathize with neutered male dogs and cats, putting themselves in the place of the animal and imposing human sexual needs, desires, and concepts onto animals. This r esistance to sterilization due to perceived sexual and emotional losses to the animal is a significant barrier to effective control of street animals, improvement of animal welfare, and pet rescue. On the contrary, when asked n the sexual needs of dogs and cats, several participants asserted that animals were not impacted sexually or emotionally by sterilization. Veterinarians and veterinary students notably exercised that a dog and human do not have the same sexual needs; huma ns use psychology and pleasure to guide and determine sexual needs and encounters, while dogs are bound to instinct, pheromones, and reproduction. Many women, including a female veterinarian who operates a private clinic, declared that sterilization has no effect on the emotional status or well being of an animal.
91 Rabies Prevention and Control An extensive interview session was conducted with the veterinarian in charge of the Department of Public Health to understand current policies and procedures in pla ce regarding rabies transmission, prevention, and the role of public health with street dog and cat management. The veterinarian is a female with over twenty years of experience in public health work. Also, details of strategic rabies control in Santiago come from a talk conducted by the veterinarian at a university to an audience of primarily medical students, titled Pro grama Nacional de Prevencion y Control de Rabia: Centro Antirrabico Naciona l Rabies is a zoonosis transmitted by the saliva of an animal, majorly dogs and cats, largely because humans live in close contact with them and own them as pets, but all warm blooded animals can carry rabies. According to the presentation, the canine species takes the first place in confirmed rabies cases in the last eight years in the DR, followed by cats in second place. Mostly school age kids are affected by rabies, and most bites occur in the head or neck. Rabies is classified as a public health problem, and the veterinarian urged the need to orient and educate the public about these issues. The veterinarian is trying to create a new generation and different type of doctors, one that integrates human and animal health as equally central to public health. She calls her patients to specifically ask about th e health and behavior of their animals and pets, because this is a form of rabies prevention. During the talk and interview, both human and animal health were emphasized as linked to public health, because humans and animals share a space and the urban environment. This assertion is perhaps the most central facet and argument of this research.
92 She asserted that the primary goal of her branch is prevention and control of rabies in humans and animals, with the ultimate end of eliminating rabies in humans e ntirely, as rabies is preventable. She told that when there is a case of rabies, it is due to negligence, because there are many methods of prevention, and usually occurs with animals who are not cared for. Detailing the procedures to be carried out, in Santiago, when a person is bitten, the first priority is to locate the animal, which is then put in a 15 day quarantine hold, and if no symptoms are revealed, the animal can be released after the hold period. Further, when the aggressor animal is a street animal, an animal vaccination campaign is promptly carried out with a five kilometer radius from the bite site post contact. Strategies to combat rabies include vaccination, sterilization, and integration of the community to gain support. Rabies vaccination campaigns are held occasionally, where both people and animals are vaccinated. The national anti rabies center sends the resources to conduct these, and trained students, doctors, and veterinarians provide the human resources to carry them out. Reportedly, it can be difficult to capture street and vaccinate street animals. Additionally, veterinary clinics are required to report any rabies cases, but according to the public health veterinarian, clinics usually do not collaborate with public healt h. The veterinarian carries out talks about rabies prevention in universities, schools, and communities to contribute to public education and awareness. Increased education, as stated previously, is a key tenet of improved relations between street dogs and cats and humans. Markedly demonstrating this need, a public health employee claimed during an interview that street dogs cannot get rabies as they are immune, and do not need vaccinations. This employee works under the umbrella of public health,
93 the sector in charge of rabies prevention, and holds this fundamental misunderstanding of rabies transmission and street animals. I refrain from assigning any blame to the individual, only to insist that more funding is allocated to the sector, and additional trainings and education is provided to employees, to act as informed ambassadors for the general public regarding key issues of street animals. According to discussions with the public health veterinarian, better care for animals works in tandem and alignm ent with goals to reduce and eliminate rabies transmission in the Dominican Republic entirely. Rabies is a major point to advocate for better and more sustainable management systems of street dogs and cats, as it will benefit human and animal populations. Rabies is also a critical avenue to call on government support and institutional collaboration, as it is an issue of high international priority, as previously discussed with the World Health Organization and other NGOs and intergovernmental agreements. F urther, the main official in charge of rabies prevention deemed sterilization as a key strategy to combat rabies, a powerful point in advocating for widespread sterilization campaigns and support to implement those campaigns. Culture and Pet Care Discussions of cultural impacts on pet care practices and attitudes provoked direct comparisons between the US and Dominican Republic. One veterinary student who has never traveled outside of the DR, affirmed that culture affects pet care significantly; he stated that people in the US are accustomed to taking care of animals and there are laws to uphold these standards of treatment and care, while in the DR they are growing and learning to love animals, while simultaneously
94 implementing animal welfare laws. He thought that Dominicans are learning more about care and gaining more respect for animals due to television and social media. The us vs. discourse referencing animal welfare, between DR and US, developing and developed, was prominent. One participant, a veterinarian, stated that i n our country the culture of protecting animals does not exist like in developed countries, here people throw them out When asked if culture has any impact on pet care, a veterinarian for the Department of Public Health who focuses on rabies prevention replied, yes of course, and that in the DR the majority of people do not have the advanced culture to care for animals, like people in the US and other countries have; she added that in the DR taking care of humans themselves are another large priority, resonating a strain on resources and a lack of available opportunities. One mother who had traveled extensively to the US described the pet culture in DR as changing and developing positively, because more people are learning. She again echoed a divisive discourse, saying that pet culture is different in the rural cam po compared with the urban areas, and different between the rich and poor. Differentiations between Haitians and Dominicans regarding pet care and animal welfare emerged in conversation. Some participants claimed that some, not all, Haitians consume and eat dogs and cats. Some said Haitians catch and eat cats from the streets. An employee at a veterinary clinic stated that cats cannot be f ound around Haitians because they eat them. A private school teacher, who was Cuban, recited a story about a Haitian family being gifted a pet cat by their neighbors, and the Haitian family later invited the neighbors to dinner to consume the gifted cat as the meal. Anti Haitian sentiments tinted by subtle
95 racism were expressed in a focus group with employees at a veterinary clinic. One employee acknowledged that some drivers of public transportation refuse to allow pets in their vehicles, adding that cer tain drivers also refused to transport Haitians, reportedly because they are not clean and bathed. This direct and open resistance to a reduction or elimination of street dog and cats was certainly unexpected. Increased education about issues surrounding street animals and public health, such as trash and sanitation, disease prevention and control, sterilization, pet rescue, and animal welfare is a recommendation to overcome some of these sentiments to achieve meaningful change to benefit both human and animal residents of Santiago.
96 Figure 5 1. Several street dogs wander amongst trash on a street corner in Santiago. Photo courtesy of the author. Figure 5 2. A street dog seeks food in a pile of trash on a sidewalk in urban Santiago. Photo courtesy of the author.
97 CHAPTER 6 TOWARD STRATEGIES FOR HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE HUMAN ANIMAL COEXISTENCE IN URBAN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Responses surrounding controversial issues in public health, street animal management, pet rescue, and animal welfare, the sterilization of dogs and cats, suggest a multipronged approach that might work to 1) Improve the scope of accurate, understandable, and widespread information about sterilization, street dogs and cats, and pet health, and 2) Minimize structur al barriers to sterilization access. Improving the spread of information regarding street animals could be best and most effectively implemented with collaboration from various stakeholders, such as the Department of Public Health, the Ministry of Environment, the education system, and private veterinarians. Stakeholder 1: Veterinarians and Veterinary Students Throughout the interview process many residents offered that the primary source of knowledge to care for pets comes from veterinarians and ve terinary clinics. However, from my research and observations, it seems that veterinary clinics and veterinarians are unaware of this widespread perception, of their role as educators. As evidenced from this data, residents of Santiago think of themselves as constituencies, or clients, to area veterinarians, who have been assigned a mandate to serve as public educators in addition to doctors for animals. A newspaper journalist, when asked about knowledge sources regarding pet care, suggested that veterinar ians have experts to teach about pet care and that some businesses exist to provide this service. However, in my detailed survey of the pet landscape in Santiago I was not made aware of any such businesses or veterinary experts whose primary objective is to educate about pet care to the public or private clients. This misalignment between expectations and reality for duties of veterinarians from the public represents an area
98 of possible improvement regarding mitigating problems onset by street dogs and cat s. For example, incorporating curriculum and training for veterinarians and veterinary students regarding their roles as educators in public health education represents a suggestion. Public education and facilitative communication training for veterinaria ns could assist and serve to align the practice of veterinary medicine with public perceptions of their role as public educators. Inclusion of this curriculum would also support the spreading of more accurate understandings of sterilization, pet care, vete rinary resources, disease transmission and prevention, etc. Stakeholder 2: Institutions Other key stakeholders that emerged as important in this study are the government, the Department of Public Health, and other institutions who might collaborate to found and manage a sector to collect, care for, and handle issues associated with street animals. When asked about related topics, mixed answers and concerns arose around the question of who is responsible for street dogs and cats, and who should be? Veter inary students lamented that no shelters exist currently in Santiago, except the institution of collaboration with this project, FAEP, which they suggested is in need of more support according to the students. In fact, a few participants did mention FAEP in direct and indirect ways, saying that they are the only organization in Santiago which offers any strategies of control for street animals, like spay/neuter clinics. Indirectly, several Public Health employees referenced a shelter in the past that was forced to close due to grievances of neighbors, which happened to FAEP a year prior to this fieldwork. Many participants commented on the work of FAEP and their successes, suggesting that an increased number of similar organizations
99 dedicated to street an imal collection, care, and rehoming would greatly benefit the city. They also emphasized the importance of providing adequate funding and human capital to support these organizations and their work. A female employee from a study abroad student exchange company called on the Ministry of Public Health to handle issues of street dogs and cats, deeming it a health issue, comparing it to their work with mosquito control. Similarly, local government employees also seek assistance and collaboration from the Department of Public Health, framing the sector as an appropriate potential partner to address street animal management.. Local government offices receive calls from disgruntled citizens about street dog and cat issues, who then call on the environmental sector to resolve problems. A representative of this sector, from the Ministry of Environment, said that their department deals with wild animals, and dogs and cats are usually exempt because they are domesticated, but they occasionally intervene if there are problems from dogs and cats that pose an environmental risk, such as hoarding cases. The veterinarian from the Department of Public Health called on local government to claim responsibility, and said plans for a shelter had been contemplated but not r ealized, due to lack of funding principally. Another veterinarian from a private clinic said she pondered making a project for street animals or founding a shelter, but did not implement it because it requires heavy time and money investments. To summarize, inter institutional communication and collaboration presents a promising opportunity to involve multiple stakeholders and develop an encompassing approach to issues presented by street animals.
100 Stakeholder 3: Residents Various interview and focu s group participants called on residents to answer to the problems brought on by street dogs and cats. Some said every person was responsible, but mostly the people who have pets and then get rid of them and put them on the streets. It was commonly heard that irresponsible people throw out animals on the street, and this is why populations of street animals have proliferated. Residents acknowledged that humans let them live in their world, and alter their routines, and it would be better if they were not in the streets. This sentiment confers that human beings are responsible for the spread of street dogs and cats, different from wild animals, and must do something to better the situation. Calling on citizens as individuals to take ownership over the issues associated with street animal populations could empower community members as active and powerful stakeholders and assets with key knowledge and resources to contribute towards sustainable management of street animals and care of owned pets. Environm ent: Physical and Cultural All relevant stakeholders, veterinarians, various institutions, government employees and agencies, and residents, act and interact within specific cultural contexts on specific physical and institutional landscapes. Pet adoption, a seemingly simple transaction between rescue agency and adopter, is complicated by many environmental factors. The same is true for other kinds of relations with dogs and cats. One aspect of culture, gender constructs have significant impacts for key solutions proposed by animal welfare agencies worldwide, like Humane Society International, as well as locally, like FAEP, to create better management systems for street dogs and cats. Proposals for spay/neuter campaigns and for the systematic collection, processing, vetting, and adoption of adoptable street animals to permanent homes will
101 be more successful if considering gendered norms and expectations related to animals. As detailed earlier, constructions of gender deeply impact attitudes and practices regarding the sterilization of dogs and cats, and sway adoption preferences. Due to many cultural factors discussed above, the majority of animals received by FAEP are females, and the majority of the public seeks to adopt male animals as pets. Acknowledge ment of the impacts of cultural attitudes and interactions with pet adoption could produce fruitful adoption strategies and marketing techniques for animal welfare and rescue agencies like FAEP. Just as businesses and nonprofit organizations conduct prospect and donor research prior to releasing new products or implementing new service projects, animal welfare agencies such as FAEP can utilize the above research findings that listen to community voices to cater adoption and sterilization strategies to suite potential adopters and see them as partners in their cause rather than obstacles to be overcome. Marketing mixed breed, former street animals as mixed, diverse, strong, and lovable, like the Dominican population and heritage, creates a bridge of relatedness and solidarity between adopters and street animals, instead of a wall characterized by disease and undesirability. Understanding cultural perceptions of street animals and promoting them in positive, asset based ways offers major potential to reduce apprehensions associated with pet rescue and sterilization. Strategies will also be enriched by taking into consideration the physical environment, landscape, and containment structures. A critical issue of street dogs and cats in the urban environment regards physical landscape and space in the home. When asked about what types of pets participants would like to adopt from a rescue
102 organization or purchase from a breeder, people commonly cited the size of the animal as a determining characte ristic, requesting small dogs because of limited size of their houses and apartments. Some fantasized about having more money to purchase larger homes with yards and patios and then they could adopt more animals. The issue of space and urban environment even arose in regard to sterilization practices, as a pet shop employee reasoned that she had her pet sterilized due to lack of space, presumably to the potential of more animals being acquired through intact pets. An elderly church secretary orated that having pets is expensive and necessitates a lot of physical space. Various participants cited living in an apartment as the primary reason for having no pets at all. A pet food marketing employee described how apartment dwellings have influenced what types of dogs are owned and breed, markedly small breeds due to lack of space. The pet food industry has noted this change in preferences for small breeds as they develop specific pet foods catered to specific breeds and sizes of dogs. As a city of a million people, it seems that urban living environments heavily influence the types of pets residents of Santiago choose to own, and sometimes people are deterred from having pets at all due to physical space constraints. Veterinarians and rescue groups could bene fit from educating residents about the benefits of sterilization, including reduced desire to roam, reduced aggression, reduced marking behaviors, and promotion of a more calm demeanor, all of which increase and ease the compatibility of pets with small living spaces, apartment living, and confinement. Championing sterilization as increasing harmony between pets and apartment living may increase adoption and sterilization rates, while reducing street animal populations and associated issues.
103 The physical landscape of Santiago varies greatly with many different neighborhoods ranging from richer, poorer, urban, semi rural, crowded, to sparsely populated. With information from the interviews, focus groups, and observations, it can be concluded that rich neighborhoods tend to have fewer street animals than poor neighborhoods. I determine that multiple factors contribute to this condition. As can be seen from Figure 6 1 below, homes in rich neighborhoods tend to be guarded behind heavy fences, gates, and walls. These safety fortifications allow less space for the animals to roam, seek shelter, and search for food sources. Additionally, rich neighborhoods have better quality receptacles for trash and more regular and reliable trash collection and sanitation policies. A study abroad exchange program employee pointed out that street animals cannot access the large garbage tanks that are present in her neighborhood, referencing structural factors with how trash and sanitation is managed at a systemat ic level in the city. These factors make it much more difficult for street animals to find food and sustain themselves, deterring their presence. Municipal waste management and waste handling by residents are other key issues that emerged as relevant for strategies. In poor neighborhoods, as shown in Figures 6 4 and 6 5, especially in the semi rural outskirts of the city, trash collection is less formal, less regulated, and less reliable, so waste is managed in different ways. Trash, as seen in Figure 6 5 below, often ends up forming large and widespread mounds in fields, in the streets in scattered piles, and around houses and businesses. This lack of receptacle containers and the widespread and open capacity of trash access provide a source of nutrients for street dogs and cats. The trash in these
104 areas is not regularly or reliably collected and trash burning, though formally illegal, is a common informal management system. Moreover, the thick walls and gates that separate houses in rich areas are absent in poor areas. Poor areas tend to have much more permeable fences or a lack of any separation structures at all, allowing for penetrable territory and more opportunities for shelter for roaming animals. Also, a lack of pet containment structures in poor neighborhoods creates serious difficulties to contain personal pets within a home or residence. A number of factors in the cultural and physical environment have been identified as barriers to implementing certain strategies to better control and reduce st reet dog and cat populations. However, some participants of this study expressed direct disapproval of the reduction of street animal populations in itself. A group of men in a neighborhood of low socioeconomic status quoted that street animals should be left to the streets. They claimed the animals want freedom and they suffer if limited or contained. They also asserted that street animals keep away thieves and delinquents, making the streets and neighborhoods less dangerous because of their presence and behavior. One went on to say that there are lots of dangerous dogs too. It seems that the benefits the dogs bring by deterring crime outweigh the potential damages brought by dangerous dogs. A worker for a local NGO that works with displaced children followed this line of thought, imagining there would be an increase in crime without street dogs. She detailed that street dogs care for businesses, and that people do not need alarms or security, because they have street dogs that will bark. A public health worker said that street dogs annoy people, but they also do a job to keep away bad people. She said they come to know all of the neighborhood
105 residents and regulars, and bark when they see a new or bad person, acting as security guards, or watchimen as they are colloquially termed in the DR. Further, some participants noted that without street cats pest populations, like rodents and insects, would be increased and uncontrolled. Another stated that there would be more trash on the streets with a lack of street animals to consume and eat it. These sentiments present further opportunities to shed positive light on street animals, as well as advocate for adoption, sterilization, and containment of pets. Marketing rescued, adoptable, street and abandoned animals as effective home guards and pest control systems addresses the needs and desires expressed by Santiago residents. A rescued street dog is an excellent candidate for a loyal watchman for the home, and a sterilized dog can be promoted as an even more effective companion, with reduced urges to leave the house and roam in search of mates. A rescued street cat can be advertised as a skilled mouser and insect hunter. Moreover, as informed by Fielding, Isaacs, and Mather (2005), animals should be promoted as co sufferers of disease, rather than transmitters. Healthy animals make for healthier children, families, and households, in addition to happier, more focused, and effective guard dogs, pest hunters, and general companions. Painting dogs an d cats as partners to humans that can contribute positively to household functions incentivizes the regular maintenance of an and happiness. Finally, an aspect of the cultural landscape that is essential for any kind of strategy is emotional attachment to street dogs and cats on the part of residents. Though Santiagueros expressed grievances about the lack of institutional management of street dogs and cats and the problems they bring, they also vehemently expressed that they did no t want them hurt or killed by the government or
106 any actor. Street animals enjoy widespread acceptance as figures in the urban landscape, living amongst their human counterparts. A significant number of people cited that either people they knew or they themselves took part in feeding street animals. A strong sense of affectionate and emotional attachment towards street dogs and cats was quite notable from interviews, focus groups, and other observations. A Spanish phrase that was present in many, many interactions with participants was me da pena which means I feel sorry It makes me sad etc. in reference to street animals and the conditions they live in, the abuses they suffer, etc. In fact, out of the 14 most common responses to negative public health effects produced by street un was the fifth most common response, which includes many people expressing sorrow, guilt, and sadness at the sight of street animals. Empathy for street dogs and ca ts shone through in lots of discussions with participants, some removed any sense of blame or fault for the street animals by saying that they look for food in the trash because they have no other option, and that they are aggressive only due to hunger. C oming to the defense of street animals and portraying them as victims was a popular occurrence. Emphasizing their integral and engrained place in the imagined sense of community landscape, some participants said that a world without street animals would ch ange the feeling entirely, that street animals are indeed a part of their world. The expressive love and affection for street animals shows that residents of Santiago have a deep, vested interest in pursuing strategies that benefit and protect the animals as well as contribute to a safer and healthier environment for humans. Despite this emotional attachment, it seems personal whims were set aside for the best interests of the animals; when asked how communities would change if there
107 were no s treet dogs or cats, participants stated that it would benefit the animals, they would have better qualities of life. Benefits for humans were also listed, such as an absence of feces and urine in the streets, fewer (potentially fatal) traffic accidents, reduced contamination, reduced trash dispersion, and a reduction of fleas, ticks, and parasites, according to a graduating male veterinary student. For the veterinary and animal rescue industry, veterinary students and clinic employees halfheartedly jokin gly, halfheartedly serious, said their practice would suffer from less work without street animals, but other people would benefit. A television reporter thought a world without street animals would be favorable, and that people would be without all of the impediments carried by street animals, such as disease. Importantly, he also mentioned that street animals impact tourism and tourism would benefit without their presence. This relates back to a problem listed a conference on street animals in conjunct ion with the Public Health Department, listing i mage of social backwardness in communitie s as a problem. From these two statements it can be concluded that the incidence of street animals is a societal trait deemed undesirable and associated with lack of development, which could negatively impact tourists from the global north, notably the United States and Canada, where pet rescue and animal welfare movements are long established and popular. However, this idea is contrasted by the reality of love, care, and affection that residents of Santiago feel towards street dogs and cats, which shone through brightly in interviews and focus groups.
108 Figure 6 1. A house in the urban center of Santiago, in a neighborhood of high socioeconomic status and wealth. This serves to demonstrate the intense containment structures, such as solid walls and gates, impermeable to street animals. Also note the upright trash receptacle and street free from trash dispersion, leaving few options access to food and other resources for street animals. Photo courtesy of the author
109 Figure 6 2. A street dog roams a municipal waste management facility. Employees noted that dogs are often dropped off here from other places. Photo courtesy of the author Figure 6 3. Two street dogs lounge in front of a local restaurant and bar, just before the business owner opened the shop front. Some participants described the importance and linkage of street dog presence and a perceived reduction in crime and increase in neig hborhood safety Photo courtesy of the author.
110 Figure 6 4. A street dog lounging in shade in a semi rural neighborhood of low soc ioeconomic status in Santiago. Photo courtesy of the author. Figure 6 5. A photo of a house in a neighbo rhood of low socioeconomic status in the semi rural outskirts of Santiago. Note the dispersed trash scattered about, and the extremely permeable fences, providing many options for food and mobility of street animals. Photo courtesy of the author.
111 CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSIONS It is the aim of this study to accomplish several objectives. First, to coordinate with FAEP in order to have institutional backing, learn from their in depth knowledge of the context, and work together towards crafting more informed and appropriate strategies for street animal management. Next, it is the goal to survey the landscape of street animals, animal welfare, and pet care in Santiago, including identifying and analyzing any actors, institutions, and systems related to street anim als and pets. Finally, to listen and learn from the residents of Santiago to better understand how social and cultural factors interact with attitudes and practices regarding street animals and pets, in order to make recommendations contributing to the creation of a more sustainable and mutually beneficial environment for dogs and cats and humans in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The conclusion will identify some needs and opportunities for further research, and then highlight key findings from the resear ch that was done. Needs and Opportunities for Future Studies One limitation of this study is selection bias. For instance, people who did not like animals or whom did not own pets tended not to participate in this study. Consequently, an important segment and perceptions of street dogs and cats and the associated issues were not considered. Future research should make efforts and strategies to circumvent this issue, in order to obtain a more dynamic and holistic participant gro up. An additional drawback of this study was the implementation of the card ranking activity. The card ranking activity was conducted in full with 30 participants at various
112 locations, however, it became clear that some participants did not seem to fully comprehend the procedures involved in the instrument. Thus, despite reaching full participation quotas, responses reflected misinterpretations and misunderstandings with conducting and carrying out the activity. Participants of various formal education lev els had different experiences with the activity. Results of the activity were not tabulated and regarded as relevant to the study, as they skewed the documented evidence. However, it was hoped that this instrument would o ffer data that was more easily qua ntifiable, and provide the ability to generate statistics. Future research should consider altering the activity to make it more clear and accessible to all kinds of participants, as it holds potential to generate some important findings if executed in a different manner. Another proposed research instrument, involving surveying participants before and after participation in a free sterilization clinic, could not be carried out due to scheduling and resource conflicts with FAEP. Like many authors of related research and topics concerning street animals and pets in Latin America, I advocate for further academic research to increase understandings and conceptions of street animals and pets in the region. Increased volumes of academic research, especial ly on socioeconomic factors, attitudes, and practices and their intersections with pet keeping and street animals, would facilitate more complete analysis of local contexts. Interdisciplinary studies serve to merge gaps between research from veterinarian medicine, anthropological and social sciences, and work on the ground by various agencies and actors.
113 Key Findings My investigation found a general research void on the topic of how social factors impact pet keeping attitudes and practices, and lack of statistics concerning stray animal populations/euthanasia numbers/etc. It also identified a need to collaborate with institutions of higher learning to study and better understand the task at hand, to more effectively create strategies to better the curren t situation. A more comprehensive approach to rescue that listens to diverse and local voices and does not impose strategies that conflict with cultural norms is required. Additionally, there is a need for public education programs regarding the rescue sy stem, spay/neuter, responsible pet ownership, safe animal handling, etc. Education is the foundation of substantive change, and children should be educated about the issues facing animals in their community. One major finding is that street dogs and cats in Latin America present numerous problems for their human counterparts that share the same spaces. This suggests that sustainable and appropriate management strategies may be developed and implemented to reduce street animal populations and improve animal health and welfare. Improving animal welfare will correlate with increased welfare for humans, in a variety of ways such as reduced trash dispersion and associated contamination, reduced traffic accidents from roaming animals, reduced incidences of aggression and associated rabies transmission, reduced zoonotic disease and parasite transmission, improved emotional well being with a reduction or absence of suffering street animals. The need for recognition of the interdependence of human health and me dicine and animal health and veterinary medicine is crucial. Next, the systematic and institutional integration of human health and veterinary medicine is necessary for
114 progress. Human and animal health are both important components of public health, because humans and animals share space and the urban environment. According to discussions with the public health veterinarian, better care for animals works in tandem and alignment with goals to reduce and eliminate rabies transmission in the Dominican Re public entirely. It is in the interests of government at various scales to seek more appropriate solutions for street animal management, as citizens currently face detrimental issues due to the absence of action, and potential benefits from sustainable management are very promising for citizens and animals alike. Differences in perceptions between street animals and pets were observed. Street animals are associated with disease, and no economic value, pets are perceived as part of the family, pets are us ually associated with pure breeds and street animals with mixed breeds. However, responses indicated a great deal of overlap between the posed categories, and the most common response in regard to mixed or pure bred preference was I do not care about indicating that purebred status may not be extremely limiting for proposed solutions, such as a culture of rescued animal adoption. Culturally constructed notions of race and ethnic identities infiltrate attitudes about street dogs and cats and pets. Participants mused that street animals are of mixed descent and breed, like the Dominican people themselves. Participants also directly compared Haitian and white, or Dominican, children to mixed and pure breed animals, affirming that everyone and ev ery animal is equal to one another. The Spanish word for breed, raza, is also the word for race, linking the concepts linguistically as well. So, historical legacies and ideas about race and ethnicity cannot be ignored when studying animal welfare and implementing solutions to problems. Connotations
115 and stereotypes about race, ethnicity, and nationality impact attitudes and practices concerning street animals and pet care. Rescue groups and animal welfare agencies can utilize increased understandings o f cultural perceptions to cater to adopter preferences and needs. There is a stark lack of knowledge and awareness of sterilization surgery, and also many myths and misconceptions about the practice. These things serve as significant barriers to advancing animal welfare and street animal management goals. Public education should be expanded and specific curriculum developed to address issues of pet care, animal welfare, and street animals. Special care should be taken to include areas of low socioeconomic status. In tandem, there is widespread belief that sterilization is only necessary for female animals as they give birth and produce offspring, gender roles. Machismo and notions of masculinity play heavily into this belief, focusing on blaming females for the associated problems and targeting females alone in proposed solutions, instead of accounting for both genders and sexes. There is a visible asymmetrical approach and concern about sterilization surgery. Additionally, many people were in favor of ste rilization via injections to save male anatomy. Females are constantly demoted to reside second place to males and male needs. There was significantly less observed concern for female anatomy preservation as part of their integral identity. However, also playing into traditional gender roles, some participants did express reluctance to sterilize female animals due to their need to fulfill their culturally prescribed roles as mothers to families of offspring. From this study, familial caretaking is majorly seen as exclusively the responsibility and natural
116 duty of female animals. Little to no concern was expressed regarding male dogs inseminating females and becoming fathers to offspring. In addition to the male/female sterilization binary, a street animal/pure breed binary was also observed with reference to sterilization. This attitude echoes power structures with discussions of sterilization for vulnerable, subjugated, and "lesser" societal groups, in this case being street animals. It can be conc luded that mass sterilization of street dogs and cats will reduce undesirable health consequences for humans resulting from street animals, and simultaneously improve and extend the lives of the animals. Many participants cited a lack of economic resources and affordability as principal deterrents from sterilization for their pets, so programs should be subsidized to offer low cost, high volume sterilization and vaccination clinics. Costs could be minimized by utilizing volunteer veterinarians and veterinary students from the universities to carry them out. Further, an institution should be designated specifically to address street dogs and cats, their sustainable management, animal welfare concerns, and public health issues. This institution shoul d collaborate integrally, frequently, and systematically with other involved actors such as veterinarians, doctors, public sanitation engineers, city planners, school systems, etc. This institution should be well funded, as benefits will be exponential and filter into many sectors and aspects of life for residents. In order to move forward with progressive change, institutions must acknowledge attitudes and practices and the contexts they are rooted in. Increased education about issues surrounding street animals and public health, such as trash and sanitation, disease prevention and control, sterilization, pet rescue, and animal welfare
117 is a recommendation to overcome some of these sentiments to achieve meaningful change to benefit both human and animal re sidents of Santiago. Importantly, I want to present this piece of work as my contribution to the issues and situation in Santiago, but recognize that it is not sufficient to explain or solve some of the questions and concerns. It is my hope that this thes is enhances awareness and sheds light on the street dogs and cats and pets of Santiago, and some of the associated actors, issues, and questions involved. Encompassing solutions to some of the problems pointed out in this work are well beyond the scope of my research; the issues highlighted necessitate multifaceted solutions and collaboration and cooperation of large and complex entities, such as the government at various scales, the community of residents, the veterinary community, the pet care sector, th e department of public health, and more. Moreover, layers of complexity accompany those entities, such as the bureaucracy and politics that accompany government, which lie outside the realms of this research. Further, deep and widespread components like poverty have great impact on the issues examined in this paper. Many subtopics uncovered in this project are deserving of their own in depth research, to better grasp at understanding the situation and suggesting solutions and recommendations. In sum, i t is imperative to recognize that large political and economic structural aspects significantly shape and influence the situation of street dogs and cats and pets in Santiago, Dominican Republic. To ascribe concrete recommendations or propose solutions wo uld be premature and incomplete at best.
118 In reference to research itself and the academic aspect of these issues, it is clear from this investigation that the subjects addressed in this thesis extend beyond the realm of veterinarians alone. Though many o f the topics concern veterinary practices, such as sterilization, vaccination, and zoonotic diseases, it is evident that these topics compel the involvement and collaboration of social scientists as well. To separate the issues from culture, environment, politics, an d history would be impossible.
119 LIST OF REFERENCES ASPCA. (2015). Pet Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.aspca.org/about us/faq/pet statistics Atlas, W. (2016). Where is Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic? Retrieved from http://www.worldatlas.com/na/do/25/where is santiago de los caballeros.htm l B. Witkind Davis a, K. A., William J. Fielding b Michelle Morters c & Francisco Galindo d (2007). Preliminary Observations on the Characteristics of the Owned Dog Population in Roseau, Dominica. Baum, F., MacDougall, C., & Smith, D. (2006). Participatory Action Research. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 60 (10). Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation fund WHO coordinated project to control and eventually eliminate rabies in low income countries. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/rabies/bmgf_who_project/en/ Britannica, E. (2016). Santiago de los Caballeros. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/place/Santiago de l os Caballeros Derby, L. (2011). Bringing the Animals Back in: Writing Quadrupeds into the Environmental History of Latin America and the Caribbean. History Compass, 9 (8). Few, M., & Tortorici, Z. (2013). Centering Animals in Latin American History : Duke U niversity Press Books. Flores Ibarra, M., & Estrella Valenzuela, G. (2004). Canine ecology and socioeconomic factors associated with dogs unvaccinated against rabies in a Mexican city across the US Mexico border. Preventative Veterinary Medicine, 62 (2). ( GARC), G. A. f. R. C. (2014). Looking for better ways to prevent rabies A better future for stray dogs: finding the missing tool. Retrieved from http://rabiesalliance.org/what we do/education/ Gerly, L. H. Y. (2010). Making a Life with Dogs and Cats in the Densely Populated City of Hong Kong: Pet Keeping as a Culturally Constructed Practice and How it Shapes Consumption, Identity and Lifestyle. (Master of Science Program in Social Sciences with major in Human Ecology: Culture, Power, and Sustainability), Lu nd University.
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122 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Gage Ziehmn was born in 1993 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. She graduated from Sebastian River High School in 2011 in Sebastian, Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies cum laude with a minor in Geography and a Certificate in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida in 2014, and was awarded her Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida in 2016. She received a Field Research Grant from the Center for Latin American Studies to conduct fieldwork on the attitudes and perceptions of street dogs and cats in Santiago, Dominican Republic during 2015 with the collaboration of La Fundacion de Animales en Peligro Inc. She previously served as a Graduate Assistant for the Center for Latin American Studies and is currently employed with the Alachua County Humane Society.