HAVANA, Oct. 21 A Cuban animal lover has dedicated 20 years of her life to feed, care for and protect more than twenty abandoned dogs that today become one of the most peculiar attractions of the Historic Center of Havana.
Margarita García, 58, reserves the mornings of her Saturdays to bathe the street animals that haunt the Plaza de Armas. There, the dogs act as ‘guardians’ of the city and carry the identifiable neck to the identifications granted by the Office of the Historian.
“These animals were appearing in the surroundings of the Plaza and I decided to welcome them, sterilize them and feed them,” the protector, also a graduate in Spanish and Literature and specialist of Ediciones Boloña, told Xinhua.
Margarita not only dedicates time, but a good part of her salary to the care of these animals. With a salary that is around the average ($ 30), the woman covers not only the food and cleaning, but even the visits of the veterinarian.
“They are already adult dogs that nobody welcomes, but everyone respects as pets here in the area and the Office of the Historian of the city,” explained the woman, who has five other dogs at home.
Some of the dogs he cares for are Aparicio, Cortico, Pelusa, Vladimir, Canela, Mulata, Mocha, Nano, La Niña and P-9. When Margarita is at work or at home, the dogs roam through Old Havana and at dawn they accompany the custodians.
In the building of the Camera Obscura, a tower that allows a view of Old Havana in 360 degrees, are La Niña and P-9, who accompany the custody of Nilda Saavedra. “In the night guards they are an additional help and an incredible company,” he said.
Currently, the non-governmental Cuban Society for the Protection of Animals and Plants (Aniplant), as well as other animal groups (such as Animal Protectors of the City and Cubans in Defense of Animals) are fighting for the inclusion in a new Constitution of the right of animals.
Figures from the National Institute of Veterinary Medicine indicate that state clinics serve more than 1.9 million dogs and more than 50,000 cats. Those who are abandoned to their fate in the streets run the risk of being sacrificed by the departments of Zoonoses, assigned to the provincial directorates of public health.