South America has a big problem. It’s not the crime rate, the people or anything along those lines. It’s the stray dogs.
Pretty much every city in South America has thousands of stray dogs roaming around. The chances are that some of those dogs have rabies and other issues that could potentially harm humans. For the past 8 months in South America, I was pretty passive about the issue. The dogs had never done anything to me, except annoy me by pooping all over the sidewalks. That was until I visited Cuenca, Ecuador.
Cuenca doesn’t have nearly as many stray dogs as Santiago, Chile but the dogs that I’ve seen here are vicious.
Recently, I was taking a routine jog around our neighborhood, just outside of Cuenca’s city center. Around our area, there are several dogs with owners and several more stray dogs. As usual, the neighbors’ dogs barked and snarled at me behind their owners’ fences.
But this time it was a bit different. There were a couple of dogs that had been either released or stray around our neighborhood. I was nearing the end of my run and had just run up a hill, when I caught a glimpse of a dog in the corner of my eye. A mid sized dog was charging straight at me. Right when I saw it, I knew that it was coming for me. Its eyes were locked on my body.
Immediately, I stopped running and stayed in place – breathing hard because of altitude and out of fear. I froze hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. I was ready to rip the dog’s eyes out if I had to.
In a couple seconds, the stray dog had made it from the end of the block to where I was standing.
Thankfully, the dog stopped his charge less than a foot in front of me – but the danger wasn’t over yet. He made himself look intimidating and snarled at me while I slowly backed off trying not to scream like a girl. I faced the dog while walking backwards until I had turned a corner and was out of sight.
Once out of sight, I sprinted back home. I’ve got a feeling that the dog attacked me because of the shirt I was wearing…
After the incident, I thought some more about what could have happened. There’s a huge possibility that the dog could have had rabies or some other disease. I could have potentially died.
There are stray dogs all over South America that all have the potential to harm a human. In Santiago, Chile, 3 dogs had followed our family at the same time while we were walking around the city center. That event could have gone horribly wrong if one of the dogs randomly attacked one of us like what happened to me.
Not only are the dogs potentially dangerous, they are also a public nuisance. While eating lunch outside in Colonia, Uruguay, several stray dogs ran under our table and even tried to eat our food.
Both Montevideo and Buenos Aires among many cities in South America are riddled with dog poop. Almost every sidewalk and beach in Montevideo is blessed with the waste of dogs. It’s due to the combination of people not picking up after their pets and the stray dogs.
Don’t get me wrong, I like animals, but someone needs to so something about the stray dogs in South America.
What are your thoughts? Leave your comment below.