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Every year rumours of a dog ‘eradication’ fly around San Pedro.  Pet owners, conservationists, locals, immigrants and tourists all get very upset that dogs may be poisoned and letters are written to the Town Board and local newspapers asking for an alternative solution.  The good news is that SAGA Humane Society and the San Pedro Town Board have come to an agreement that will be great news for the people and animals of San Pedro and avoid the need of future eradications via strychnine poisoning.

SAGA Humane Society and the San Pedro Town Board have worked together informally for several years to try to address the problems caused by irresponsible dog owners in San Pedro.  These are the owners who allow their dogs to wander on the streets, causing a nuisance to others.  This irresponsible behaviour leads to complaints to the Town Board and they have no option but to do their job and deal with nuisance animals.   Fortunately, the vast majority of dog owners in San Pedro are responsible and will welcome this new initiative to make San Pedro a happier place for people and pets.

SAGA Humane Society has been given the authority by the San Pedro Town Board to act as Dog Catcher and Pound for the San Pedro area and to enforce the Control of Dogs Act 2000 (Chapter 153). SAGA Humane Society will be working hand in hand with the Town Board, Police Department and Health Department to collect strays, investigate reports of nuisance, neglect and cruelty and set fines for those in breach of the law.  Section 15 of the Control of Dogs Act 200, allows the collection of fees and fines and it is hoped that by enforcing this law, San Pedro will become a cleaner and happier place for all.  These laws have been in existence for many years, but because San Pedro is growing in population and the complaints about irresponsible dog owners are increasing, they must now be properly enforced.  By introducing fines, these will act as a deterrent while helping SAGA to fund this service to the San Pedro community.

Pet owners and non pet owners have to suffer with the problems caused by the minority of irresponsible dog owners.  Dogs owned by irresponsible owners foul in public places causing a mess and health hazard, they chase bicycles and golf carts, turn over garbage cans and bark and fight in the night.   What many don’t know is that dogs are not allowed to be wandering in the streets during the day or night and should be safely and humanely secured by their owners.

According to the Dogs Control Act 2000, which is the law in Belize, dogs that disturb the peace by persistent barking, dogs that are loose in the street, dogs that chase people and dogs allowed to toilet on public or private property – unless the mess is immediately removed by the owner – are all considered a nuisance and may be seized and the owners may be fined.  If your dog is seen loose in town, on the street or in a public place without a collar or without an owner present, it may be considered a stray and picked up by the Dog Catcher.  If you have a female dog that is in heat in a public place and she is not on a lead or being carried, she may be seized.  If your dog is suffering from illness or injury and is not being carried or on a lead, it may also be seized.

It is an offence for a dog owner to allow their dog to be loose in any street or public place and dogs must be under the owner or handlers immediate control if they take their dog off their property.  This means that owners should have a collar and lead with them when walking their dogs and not allow their dog to become a nuisance or disturbance on walks, supervising them closely at all times.

SAGA Humane Society is already authorised to charge fees for the return of wandering dogs to their owners.  Right now, if SAGA is forced to seize a dog that has been neglected or allowed to become a nuisance or stray, the owner will have three days to collect the dog and pay a fine, which will be $50 + $10 per day.  After that time, the dog will be owned by SAGA Humane Society and may be rehomed or, if there is not sufficient space at SAGA’s shelter or the dog has been assessed as not adoptable, it may be euthanased humanely.   A more comprehensive set of fines regarding owners who allow dogs to wander and create nuisance, as well as for owner who abuse or neglect their dogs, is being introduced in accordance with details set forth in the Dogs Control Act and will be published and enforced by the beginning of 2012. Posters and articles will be appearing around San Pedro and in the paper advising the public of the specific procedures and fee schedules.

SAGA Humane Society is appealing to the public and local dog owners to help them enforce these laws, which are designed to maintain public health, reduce nuisance and to protect dogs from cruelty and neglect. Your support will help to prevent the Town Board from being forced to resort to eradications with poison to control loose dogs and the deal with nuisance they create.  Please remember that SAGA Humane Society provides this important public service with no financial support from the government.

If you have any questions about the laws relating to dogs or animal welfare or if you would like to contact SAGA about animal cruelty or neglect, please call SAGA on 226 3266.



There is no doubt that Si was probably a very cute puppy.  It’s easy to imagine a child playing with him and enjoying the wonderful bond that develops between puppies and children.  What is not so easy to imagine is how such a sweet potlicker grew up, having been cared for by someone and then ended up abandoned and shot in the street.

When residents of the San Mateo reported that there was an injured dog, possibly shot, in their neighbourhood, Hurricane Rina was threatening the coast of Ambergris Caye.  Evacuations were in progress and SAGA was making emergency plans in case the hurricane struck.  Despite all of that, SAGA workers and volunteers hurried into action to try to find the dog and bring him in for examination.

It is always very concerning to hear that someone may have been shooting a gun in a residential area where so many families live, so the SAGA team were hoping that the report was not true.  Unfortunately, residents confirmed that shots had been heard the night before and they located the injured dog quickly.

After muzzling the dog for their own safety, a SAGA volunteer and a SAGA staff member, wrapped him in a blanket and rushed him back to the clinic, where he was given urgent medical treatment by the SAGA veterinary surgeon.

Once the wounds were exposed, it was very clear that it was a gunshot wound and the bullet had entered and left the dogs body.  Lucky for this little dog, no vital organs had been damaged and SAGA was able to save his life.

Because the dog had been abandoned he has no name, so SAGA named him Si and he is currently in a foster home receiving the love and attention he needs to help recover both his health and his confidence.

SAGA deals with animal emergencies in San Pedro every day, helping to make the community safer for people and pets.  They depend on your donations and support to provide this very special ‘emergency service’.   Si is one of the lucky ones, because the caring people of San Mateo made sure they called SAGA.

If you have an animal emergency or have seen an animal that needs help, please call SAGA on 226 3266.


SAGA Humane Society brought much fun, a little bit of spookiness and lots of enjoyment to the San Pedro community for the 8th year running with their Halloween Party in Central Park on Sunday the 30th.

Puppies, kittens and even ferrets brought along their human friends for a day full of great activities and Halloween treats.  When children arrived and registered they received a free bag of goodies. Then, fuelled on sugar, they spent the rest of the afternoon playing organised games on the beach.

But of course the SAGA Halloween party is known for one thing and that is the highlight of the day – the costume competitions!  This year, some very important VIP judges selected the winners.  The judges are all competing mayoral candidates, but they know a good cause when they see one.  It was a day for potlickers – not politics.  Melanie Paz, Concha Flota and Daniel Guerrero scrutinised every entrant carefully and these were the results:

The Scariest Costume Winner was Hefa the Witch, a dog owned by Melanie Halliday.   The Funniest Costume went to Kilo the Beach Babe, a dog owned by Jennifer Ingvoldstad. The dog who won with the Cutest Costume was Ginger the Hot Dog, owned by Tiana.  The Best Couple were two adorable dogs named Juicy and Paris owned by Shelly Del Valle.  The Grand Champion was surprisingly, not a dog but a ferret named Luna.  She was dressed as a ‘Rebel Fairy’ and is owned by Rochelle Hancock. With nearly 40 entries in the costume competition, it was a really tough decision, so the VIP judges were hugely appreciated by both SAGA Humane Society and all of the participants.

SAGA depends on fundraisers such as their Annual Halloween Party so that they can provide care for so many abused and neglected animals in San Pedro.  They are delighted that the amount raised – before the outcome of their Silent Auction, was $3600.

The Silent Auction, which has some fantastic prizes – some with a value of $1000 – continues throughout the week.  Bidding will end at 5pm on the 4th of November.  If you’d like to bid, bids can be placed at the Saga Clinic during business hours or online at the Saga Humane Society Facebook page.  Alternatively, just to onto the Ambergris message board and place your bid there. Daily bids will be updated on each site by 5pm that day. Winners will be notified after bidding ends.

If you would like to find out more about how you can support SAGA Humane Society 226 2366.  San Pedro needs SAGA and SAGA needs YOU.



Join Saga Humane Society for our 8th  Annual Halloween Party in Central Park. Sunday October 30 12pm-5:30pm.  Rompe Raja will be providing the music.  Fun for the entire family.


Registration by 3:30 p.m.

  • Scariest
  • Funniest
  • Cutest
  • Best Couple – Dog & Owner
  • Most Original
  • Lots of Raffles!!     Drawings every ½ hour.


  • Silent Auction – Online bidding will begin on Mon, Oct. 24th. You may also place a bid at Saga Humane Society. Bidding ends at 6:00 p.m., Sunday October 30, 2011.
  • Food & drinks… chilli, hot dogs & monster dogs, chicken & cheese dips, chicken/rice & beans.
  • Candy bags for all participants.


Through your support Saga Humane Society is able to save the lives of  orphaned or abandoned companion   animals, provide humane education and serve as a community resource for pets.

*We prefer for the cat’s safety they not attend this event because of the number of dogs.



Sunday October 30th, 2011, Central Park.


Attention all Howling Hounds and Creepy Cats. Judgment Day is near for the Best Pet Costume Contest!

Fun for the whole family and your furry friends.


You might just have one cat or maybe even two. They hang around, entertain the children and hopefully catch mice and rats. They may be house pets, loved by the family for their personality and playful nature. They might just be cats that aren’t really yours but you still put out food for them. All of these cats are capable of having kittens and all of these cats are the reason that San Pedro now has an overpopulation of our furry feline friends.

Often people say ‘Oh I only let her have one litter’ or ‘I can find homes for them’ but if they knew the truth about cats and their amazing ability to reproduce, they would certainly think twice. Just one un-spayed female cat and her mate, along with their offspring can be responsible for producing over eleven million new cats in nine years. Do we really want eleven million cats in San Pedro?

Cat overpopulation in San Pedro is bad news for people and cats. Right now there are hundreds of stray and abandoned cats hiding in bodegas, alleys and only coming out at night to hunt, scavenge and reproduce. These cats rarely live longer than two years as they succumb to injuries and disease. They cause a nuisance by ripping open garbage, fighting and making noise as well as spreading infectious diseases. They have no one to love them or care for them and that is the fault of the people who allowed them to breed and continue to breed. Unfortunately, their irresponsibility has now become the responsibility of the community and SAGA Humane Society.

SAGA Humane Society is already overflowing with cats and kittens. Currently they have over 30 in their care and very few are being adopted. If you walk around the Town in the evening, you’ll see many sad, sick and very skinny cats slinking between the golf carts and cars. So, what can San Pedro do to stop it from raining cats?

Neutering and spaying are the only solutions. These are very simple operations that can be performed by the veterinary surgeon and will not only prevent cats from reproducing but will reduce their risk of disease and injury. If our community worked together, we could turn San Pedro into a place where all the cats and kittens have the homes and love that they need and deserve.

If you have a cat or kitten and you want to do the responsible thing, please contact SAGA about spaying or neutering. If you are worried about the cost, let them know and they will do everything they can to assist. If you know of a stray cat that has had kittens or is pregnant, please let SAGA know. To find out how you can help the cats of San Pedro please call SAGA on 226 3266.


The best way to deal with any emergency is to have a plan ahead of time and stick with it! Here are some things that you can do to get prepared for any storms heading our way:

All pet owners should have a kit for their pets, which should include:

  • Supply of food for 7 days in an airtight, water proof container
  • Drinking water
  • Bowls for food and water
  • Vaccination records and physical description for each pet
  • For dogs include–leash, collar and a sturdy carrier
  • For cats include–litter and litter box and a sturdy carrier

It is also recommended that you:

  • Keep your animals with you; if you must leave an animal outside, DO NOT leave him tied up!
  • Place the pet emergency supply kit by the door so it is ready to go if you need to evacuate quickly
  • Make sure your pet has visible identification on right now!
  • Talk with a trusted neighbor who can care for your pets if you are away

If you are planning to take your pets with you if you need to evacuate, make sure that you have their rabies vaccination certificate. If you plan to leave the country with your pets, you must also have a health certificate issued by a veterinarian within 10 days of traveling. Keep in mind that if you plan to evacuate with your pets you must do so early. Once emergency evacuation begins, animals are no longer able to travel on public transportation because the space is reserved for two-legged types.

Remember – be prepared in advance so that you and all your loved ones will be safe!


 SAGA Humane Society would like to give our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to everyone involved who supported our fund raising efforts during La Reina de la Costa Maya.  During the successful festivities SAGA hosted “Ladies and The Champ” at Captain’s Casino, “La Reina de la Costa Maya Reserved Tables” and a booth at the block party in Central Park. We were able to do this with the wonderful support of Marisa Salazar, Gach Guerrero and the entire Costa Maya Committee.  We were honored to be able to be a part of assisting such a prestigious event.

SAGA would like to give a special recognition to the people who contributed their time or talents in these events.  With your ongoing assistance SAGA will be able to support Shelter Animals until they find Forever Homes.

Ernest Olmstead                         Karen Riley

Greg Cobb                     Badih “Bob” Bounahra

Captain’s Casino & Captain Morgan’s Staff

2011 Costa Maya Queens

Caco Trejo                                  Sarah Karpati                       Allen Soto                      David Bellini                            Patrick Palma

Cindy Carlson                           Avarel Blair                         Noemi Caballero           Hector, Cierra, Arlethe

Rosa LaRosa                            Michele Colbert                  Marina’s Store                 Sergio at Mousepad              Milo’s Ice

Lori Purdy                              Ari Trejo                                  Katia Marin                      Grant Crimmins                     Ingrid Lima