While we were at Breezes, there were no dogs to be found anywhere on the property except for one dog who showed up briefly on the beach one afternoon. It appeared he may have wandered over from CVJ. We saw no dogs anywhere on the CVJ beach either and we walked the length of beach both morning and afternoon. I have no idea where the dogs went and presumed the dog catcher a previous reviewer had mentioned, managed to do his job which I understood was to rid the resorts of the canines.
As I had promised Radar before departure, I made an appointment with resort management to discuss the Spanky Project. We asked that the resorts consider a spay/neuter programme for both the dogs and cats since there are many cats and kittens hanging around the lobby/buffet area of Breezes right now. We also suggested signs be posted that guests please not feed the dogs and cats. We suggested that all vacation reps should be required to do a short “education” blurb at every briefing to inform guests.
Management at both resorts were very polite to us and said they would take our suggestions and see what could be done. They were already aware of the Spanky Project and another programme run through the University of Havana. What Cubans do have a very hard time understanding is the cultural difference between how Cubans and Canadians view their pet dogs. Cubans have enough trouble putting food on their own tables, nevermind having any money available for pampering their pooches. Cubans just can’t comprehend that some Canadians see their dogs as their “children” and treat the animals accordingly by spoiling them with organic biscuits from doggie bakeries, special dog clothing, doggie jewellery, etc. One thing neither management team was willing to risk was a possible future law suit brought by a guest injured/bitten by a dog. This and disease issues have always been my own personal concerns with regard to the dog problem.
The cats were viewed differently by management. Cats keep the rodent/cockroach populations under control and are therefore of value to the resort. Of course, this could all change if the now very skinny cats become “lazy” and fat because they are constantly fed scraps from the buffet.
I also spoke with the Breezes employee who helped find Chi Chi so the dog could be brought to Canada and she showed us a photo of Chi Chi in his new home in Toronto along with the couple’s other dog. My husband commented that Chi Chi didn’t look especially happy and maybe missed roaming freely at Jibacoa where it’s much warmer. I’m sure the new owner would beg to differ with hubbie’s opinion!
Just as the reef fish are becoming ever more aggressive due to them being fed bread and bananas by snorkeling guests, so too I suspect the dog problem will reappear at some point in the future because guests are attracting the animals by feeding them.
If we want to stop what some see as cruelty to the animals by the resident dog catcher, we have to take responsibility for our own actions. Even zoos post signs saying “Do Not Feed the Animals” so I see no reason why the resorts can’t do the same.
It’s all up to us!!