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Cozumel hands out first ever animal cruelty fine to pet owner

Cozumel, Q.R. — Municipal Ecology says that the first fine for animal abuse on the island has been issued, adding that fines are now standard for those found guilty of abusing animals.

Fernando Pola Rodríguez, la Subdirección de Ecología Municipal, reports that a Cozumel citizen with several complaints of animal abuse has been fined 8,000 peso for failing to provide shade, food and water to their dog, who was often left exposed to full sun.

Pola Rodríguez says that in this particular case, the pet owner had been repeatedly reported for animal cruelty and was fined after being found guilty of animal abuse.

He said that during any given week, the Centro de Control Animal (CCA) receives between 30 and 40 reports of animal abuse and neglect, a figure that increases during the summer months when pets are left exposed on rooftops, in yards that lack shade and/or without water, all of which he says, incur the same crime of animal abuse.

He explained that for the first sanction, the pet owners are given a warning and made to sign a letter of commitment to properly provide and care for the animal. The second sanction involves a hefty fine which falls under the Reglamento de Ecología y Bienestar animal.

Pola Rodríguez admits that educational campaigns are needed. He acknowledged that the use of social networks has served well to visualize reports of the mistreatment of pets, since it is a growing problem.