Costa Rica’s annual romeria pilgrimage is coming up, but the National Animal Protection Association (ANPA) and Animal Aid Association of Cartago have a special request for your dog.

 

“Don’t bring your dog to the Romeria,” the post reads. “The promise is yours.”

Each year abandoned dogs remain long after after the pilgrims return home. While some poor animals are purposefully brought along to be intentionally lost, many more beloved members of the family wander off and are never seen again. Just last year over 70 new street dogs were found in Cartago.

That’s not even to mention how long and difficult the journey can be for our furry friends. “Exposing an animal to heavy exercise can cause injuries to limbs or spine, from aching muscles and tendons to kidney problems and severe dehydration” explains the Animal Aid Association of Cartago.

If you or someone you know insists on bringing their dog along, please heed the following suggestions:

  • Keep a close eye on your animal. Even dogs on leashes are at risk for abuse and maltreatment from other travelers.
  • Have a water plan. Bring a collapsible bowl or disposable cup to make sure Fido stays hydrated.
  • She deserves a break too. If your dog looks tired, find some shade and let them rest. You aren’t likely to hear your dog verbally complain, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for her.
  • Be considerate of his paws. Most dogs don’t wear shoes, which means when it’s hot or the terrain is rough, they little feet really suffer.

“It’s complicated, despite all the campaigns we do to prevent bringing dogs, people persist… The problem is we can not rescue all, to help them with some food but we do not keep up so many, ” said Daniela Segura, manager Animal Aid Association last year. Please be considerate.