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    Posted November 25, 2008 by
    Gardner
    Location
    Vina del Mar, Chile
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    iReport for CNN

    More from Gardner

    558 dogs and 106 cats in one home. First time footage

     

    OVER 500 DOGS AND 100 CATS HOUSED IN A SMALL HOUSE LOCATED IN A RESIDENTIAL AREA

     

    First time video access granted for iReport

     

     

     

     

    OVER 500 DOGS AND 100 CATS HOUSED IN A SMALL HOUSE LOCATED IN A RESIDENTIAL AREA

     

     

     

     

    For over three years more than 550 dogs and 100 cats have been housed in a small residential property of only 2.7k square feet in the hills of Valparaiso, Chile, causing harsh complaints by neighbors due to the putrid smell the property emits as well as the unsanitary conditions that effects the surrounding residential area.

     

     

     

     

    Maria Gonzalez, a professor of English at a local university is the owner of the property and is strongly opposed to the euthanasia of the animals unless it is absolutely justified due to extreme pain experienced by the animal or it's chances of survival being very slim. "We believe education and sterilization of the animals is the proper way of dealing with the situation," Gonzales said.

     

     

     

     

    Valparaiso, the principal port city in Chile, is infamous for the amount of stray dogs that live on the streets of the city. Gonzalez makes a point of accepting nearly any animal that comes off the street, with people in the area even tying dogs to poles outside the property knowing Gonzales will gladly allow the dogs a new home inside the residence.

     

     

     

     

    Gonzalez is also the principal financier of the residential animal shelter, which she has named "La Protectora de Animales" The Protector of Animals, pouring thousands of dollars and hours upon hours of labor to give these animals a home-even though conditions are horrid due to a lack of finances to move the shelter to another, larger location.

     

     

     

     

    The furious neighbors surrounding the property and Gonzalez herself have pleaded with the city to come up with a solution to the problem. "For more than three years we have pleaded with the municipal authorities and the health department to resolve the problem," the neighbors said.

     

     

     

     

    "The director of health (SEREMI) could go to jail for not complying with a resolution by the Supreme Court that ordered the eradication of the property, they said. "In a real democracy the first mission of the authorities is to resolve the problems of the citizens and not waste time doing it."

     

     

     

     

    While the city has recently promised to help finance the construction of a facility outside the city, they have not promised enough funding that would allow the shelter to stay up and running for a reasonable amount of time which calls for thousands of US dollars per day. This still leaves the situation in a precarious position.

     

     

     

     

    In light of President-elect Obama's declaration of adopting a dog to bring to the White House during his recent victory speech (and Michelle Obama calling for a dog specifically from a shelter), neighbors surrounding the property have commented that an adoption of a dog by Obama from this property would stir others to also adopt, thereby ending the problem in a short period of time.

     

     

     

     

    Written and reported by Wes Kimbell (www.WesKimbell.com)

     

     

    Photo and video by Gardner Hamilton (www.GardnerHamilton.com)

     

     

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