Don Bauder 5:30 p.m., March 10
- Community Blog
Abandoned by Families: Tijuana Strays Search and Beg for Food
Since last March, the number of stray dogs and cats have increased quite a bit on the streets of Tijuana, mostly in the Zona Norte area and where the arch is located on First and Revolucion -- probably because these are the best places to get food from tourists and the trash left on the curbside each night for the city garbage collectors to collect.
These are not feral strays birthed in the pavement and asphalt but grown, domesticated animals. Many are friendly, and hungry.
They are abandoned pets.
You see them roaming around, looking for for food, sleeping on the sidewalk, fornicating in public with K9 indifference.
Some are pregnant and will soon release puppies who need to eat. One pregnant dog seems to always follow two certain police officers at the arch police kiosk, because they feed her.
A woman known as Yolanda, a regular Zona Norte denizen and panhandler, explained the situation. "It's the bad economy," she said, "people can't afford their pets, you know--to feed them, take care of them.People can barely feed their families.
"So they drive their pets down here and let them out of the car and then take off," she said. "It's a sad thing."
Yolanda is often seen holding small dogs and puppies, abandoned animals she acquires and sometimes uses as an excuse to panhandle: "My puppy needs medicine," etc.
The Tijuana River Valley Animal Rescue center does come by now and then to pick up these strays -- otherwise, they starve to death or get hit by cars. It is not uncommon to see a dead dog or cat on the broken asphalt.