Update 30 January 2013: Whatever their plans are for these dog catchers I hope they get it together soon because last night another woman was injured. The attack happened in C/. Nido in the Montaña Chayofita area above Avenida Suecia and the dog responsible is said to be an abandoned one. I don’t know whether this implies it was a dog unrelated to the Guaza mountain pack, or whether they’re spreading their activities more widely these days. The woman, 73 years old, had an open bite wound in her leg: her injuries are said to be “not serious”, but were sufficiently serious to require emergency services assistance.
Update 22 December: The Cabildo has cancelled a controversial authorization that would have allowed these stray dogs to be shot in the Montaña de Guaza area. Consejera insular de Medio Ambiente, Ana Lupe Mora, yesterday revoked the resolution after what she called the “social alarm” that had been generated by the announcement that the dogs could effectively be hunted and shot on sight. She reiterated that the Cabildo’s intention was to resolve the problem of people threatened by feral strays rather than to create such distress, and that the measure had anyway only been intended as a last resort. It is, however, now cancelled, and Arona will resolve the issue by means of the dog catchers as I posted previously.
Update 23 November: Arona Ayuntamiento has decided, some might say “at long last”, to deal with the problem of abandoned and stray animals in the municipality. The council has called for applicant companies to tender for the job of dog catchers to find and remove dogs from the streets and thereby offer a service that has been loudly demanded by many in areas that have seen a great proliferation of abandoned animals. The call for tenders was published in the Boletín Oficial de la Provincia (BOP) on Tuesday.
Update 7 June 2012: The situation has not improved. The dogs have attacked passers-by, some of whom have needed medical attention for bites. The Ayuntamiento says it has taken three of the pack off the streets but increasing numbers of dogs are being seen abandoned, and they are biting people.
One of the most recent was in Avda Londres, the road that goes up past Victoria Court 1, when five barking dogs approached a pedestrian. “I stayed still”, said the victim, “thinking they’d go away and not bite me, but it didn’t happen. One of the dogs bit my leg and I had to go to the health centre to get a tetanus injection and to have the wound seen to”.
The Servicio Canario de Salud (SCS) confirmed that the woman who was attacked had an inflamed bite when she attended the centre, and that they gave her medical attention, an anti-tetanus injection, and antibiotics.
The woman denounced the incident to the Guardia Civil in Playa de las Américas, where she added that the dog which bit her was rummaging in the rubbish of nearby bins in Avda Londres.
Arona Ayuntamiento said that it had captured three abandoned and dangerous dogs using traps with food inside. The Concejalía de Seguridad has contacted the Cabildo to try to find a definitive solution within the jurisdictions of both administrations, said the council.
Original post 22 September 2011: A pack of feral dogs is attacking pedestrians in full centre of Los Cristianos. One resident, 71-year-old Paulina Redondo, says she has been attacked twice, once drawing blood, and that she is not the only one this has happened to. She says she and others have complained to the police, and that this has been going on for six or so months … and that nothing is done.
Policía Local chief, Antonio Miranda, confirmed that this is no isolated incident, and that he is aware both of this pack of dogs and of the attacks the animals have carried out: on foreigners including Britons, on residents and tourists, and even on children and a woman in a wheelchair. These attacks have taken place in Los Cristianos as well as on the slopes of Guaza mountain … and nearby complexes … where they seem mainly to live, coming down into the town in the evening to find food.
Sr Miranda said that he had sent a report to Arona’s Citizen Security councillor to urge the Ayuntamiento to ask the Guardia Civil’s Seprona Unit for help to capture these dangerous dogs before something even more serious takes place. Arona environment councillor Antonio Sosa urged the public to call 010 if they see the dogs, and said that the Council will indeed ask Seprona for the help that the Policía Local are recommending … one might well wonder why the devil it has not already done so! DA