Stray dogs are treated better than he...

Stray dogs are treated better than heroin addicts in Puerto Rico. Why?

There are 18 comments on the story from Aug 11, 2008, titled Stray dogs are treated better than heroin addicts in Puerto Rico. Why?. In it, reports that:

It is the shame of Puerto Rico that not enough is done for heroin addicts to get them off this horrible drug and into treatment for HIV/AIDS. The media seldom mentions the need for handling the heroin addiction problems on the island. Stop at many traffic lights and the view is like the land of the walking dead. Filthy, sore invested heroin addicts approach drivers stopped for the light begging to put money in their paper cups. Some drivers put a few coins in the cups in order not to feel guilty. Putting money into these cups will not end up with addicts buying food. It all goes for buying more drugs.

I love dogs and want dogs to be taken care of with respect and love. However, it seems the media, government officials and the general public are more worried about stray dogs than helping heroin addicts. I have heard many tourists express grief about not enough being done for heroin addicts in Puerto Rico, especially the poor souls suffering from HIV/AIDS. I have known a couple heroin addicts on the street and could actually smell their legs rotting from the many injections by infested needles. What is heartbreaking is to see a destroyed human being come up to your car begging with his or her cup and to recognize that the walking dead individual is a once handsome male or beautiful woman you knew many years ago. What happened to make this person get hooked on drugs?

I have gotten to recognize the heroin addicts at the traffic light at Todd and Lucetti. Sometimes I become angry at them because they get between me and the changing light. I wonder how many addicts are hit by cars at these intersections? I cannot comprehend how a civilized society can allow this complete disregard for suffering human beings to happen. We are all God's children. Once in awhile I would not see one of the steady beggers at Todd and Lucetti. I begin to wonder what happened. Was he or she killed by a rushing car trying to beat the changing traffic light? Did the cops just chased them away? Did they just dropped dead near a punto?

One thing that I am certain about is that no supposedly loving Christian intervened to rescue them from their addiction and to give them the much needed treatment for their HIV/AIDS. It is easier to talk the teachings of Jesus Christ than to actually reach down and help the suffering souls among us.

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“Honorable Permanent Union”

Since: Aug 07

Atlanta, GA

#1 Aug 11, 2008
Should we continue to ignore the homeless drug addicts or can something be done about it? In New York City it is illegal to panhandle. Drug addicts are taken under custody and given treatment. Do we pretend to act as if there is no drug addiction problems in Puerto Rico? Is the way we treat drug addiction and the homeless the shame of Puerto Rico?

U_S_Mail

“Non compos mentis”

Since: Feb 08

Roma

#2 Aug 14, 2008
Yankee In Puerto Rico wrote:
Should we continue to ignore the homeless drug addicts or can something be done about it? In New York City it is illegal to panhandle. Drug addicts are taken under custody and given treatment. Do we pretend to act as if there is no drug addiction problems in Puerto Rico? Is the way we treat drug addiction and the homeless the shame of Puerto Rico?
YIPR, you need to visit the mainland more often...You’ll find that treatment for drug addicts on skid row is non-existent. In fact, skid row has been criminalized in most urban areas. Sleeping in public places is enough to send you to prison. Feeding the homeless in public places is enough to land you in jail.
Don’t believe me..? Check the anti-panhandling ordinances across jurisdictions in the US.
Fact Checker

Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico

#3 Aug 15, 2008
3 or 4 years ago PNP mayor Jorge Santini proposed grabbing all the street people in Viejo San Juan and forcing them into 'treatment.' He cited their running sores as detrimental to the area.

Stray dogs and cats with running sores (and sarcoptic mange (known as 'scabies' when contracted by humans,) untreateded broken limbs, etc) were not addressed by the mayor.

“Honorable Permanent Union”

Since: Aug 07

United States

#4 Aug 15, 2008
Fact Checker wrote:
3 or 4 years ago PNP mayor Jorge Santini proposed grabbing all the street people in Viejo San Juan and forcing them into 'treatment.' He cited their running sores as detrimental to the area.
Stray dogs and cats with running sores (and sarcoptic mange (known as 'scabies' when contracted by humans,) untreateded broken limbs, etc) were not addressed by the mayor.
~~~~~~~~~~

I am not for arresting them as "criminals." I am for taking them in for treatment. A heroin addict is much more difficult to help than a crack head or someone on a non-heroin drug. Guy and gals that I spotted begging several years ago on the streets of San Juan are now the "walking dead." It tears my heart out to see their misery. There needs to be a stronger effort to help drug addicts.

It is also as important to have a sensible program for stray dogs and cats.
Yunque

Manlius, NY

#5 Aug 15, 2008
Dogs should be treated better than heroin addicts. They are more useful.
Kellinjay

Vancouver, WA

#8 Jul 18, 2013
You would think more should and could be done for both addicts and animals! So, so sad. I now look at PR very different!

What a shame!
tom johnson

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

#9 Nov 13, 2013
The dogs are domesticated and want the help. Drug addicts make a conscious choice and anyone that has any dealings with addiction knows that until someone is ready to quit; your just wasting your breath. .

El cacique

Since: Dec 12

Location hidden

#10 Nov 13, 2013
Yankee In Puerto Rico wrote:
<quoted text>
~~~~~~~~~~
I am not for arresting them as "criminals." I am for taking them in for treatment. A heroin addict is much more difficult to help than a crack head or someone on a non-heroin drug. Guy and gals that I spotted begging several years ago on the streets of San Juan are now the "walking dead." It tears my heart out to see their misery. There needs to be a stronger effort to help drug addicts.
It is also as important to have a sensible program for stray dogs and cats.
Drug illness is a demon. It is a breaking down of one spirit. It really is.

Anything to mess with one natural senses invites demonic activity within oneself.

It is a very complicated disease to treat. Lots of willpower is needed.

But, it can be overcome. I have personally seen it in others.

==========

On side note

Wherever you are UY.....I hope you are well.

If you are no longer with us....Descansa en paz!

To you as well as Factchecker"

El cacique

Since: Dec 12

Location hidden

#11 Nov 13, 2013
tom johnson wrote:
The dogs are domesticated and want the help. Drug addicts make a conscious choice and anyone that has any dealings with addiction knows that until someone is ready to quit; your just wasting your breath..
Have you been to the island?. Most of those those roaming dogs (satos) are not domesticated. That's the problem. At one time even as little as couple of years ago. There would be bands of these dogs traveling in rabid packs. Especially along deserted country roads at night. They existed because local good samaritans would throw them some scraps or just by tearing through garbage or sometimes killing and eating livestock.

It was a real public nuisance problem and a health hazard. It still it, to a certain extent. Although nowhere near like before.

Animal control has finally started to be up and running in the island with seriousness.

==========

As far as an addict?. They need time, attention and a great amount of care. An inpatient facility is best for those with severe problems.

But, yes, it has to start with them.

Rehabilitation is the easy part. "Staying clean" for the long haul is another feat altogether. Sometimes virtually impossible.

Recidivism rates are quite high among former users.
Allan

United States

#12 Nov 13, 2013
Both are serious issues for the island and it seems little money is spent on either. I see the same wasted guys at the red lights in town every day as I have for years with a new one coming and going every once in awhile. It was a shock to me to see them doing the slinky shuffle in front of a police car in broad daylight for the first time. As far as packs of dogs I have ten or so every night out in the street in front of my house chasing the semi wild horses that free range in the neighboring fields and there is always babies popping out, one of my old neighbors and his wife accepted donations and spent quite a bit of money each month buying dog food and driving around and feeding the strays where they found them, the local Kmart has 5 to 10 regulars laying out on the sidewalks or under cars every day. Once we had a just plain mean one here in town that chased the 2 nuns from the local church and I tried to catch him with a rope but couldn't and we called animal control and the only truck they had was broke down and they would not be able to come catch him and his pack any time soon and they guy basically said do what you have to. Not sure what happened but a lot of dogs disappeared in the following weeks, someone took care of it. It a sad sight to see them as roadkill but it is very common. Those are two examples of culture shock gringos will experience when coming to the island.

El cacique

Since: Dec 12

Location hidden

#13 Nov 14, 2013
Allan wrote:
Both are serious issues for the island and it seems little money is spent on either. I see the same wasted guys at the red lights in town every day as I have for years with a new one coming and going every once in awhile. It was a shock to me to see them doing the slinky shuffle in front of a police car in broad daylight for the first time. As far as packs of dogs I have ten or so every night out in the street in front of my house chasing the semi wild horses that free range in the neighboring fields and there is always babies popping out, one of my old neighbors and his wife accepted donations and spent quite a bit of money each month buying dog food and driving around and feeding the strays where they found them, the local Kmart has 5 to 10 regulars laying out on the sidewalks or under cars every day. Once we had a just plain mean one here in town that chased the 2 nuns from the local church and I tried to catch him with a rope but couldn't and we called animal control and the only truck they had was broke down and they would not be able to come catch him and his pack any time soon and they guy basically said do what you have to. Not sure what happened but a lot of dogs disappeared in the following weeks, someone took care of it. It a sad sight to see them as roadkill but it is very common. Those are two examples of culture shock gringos will experience when coming to the island.
Excellent post, Al. Informative. This is an alarming problem.

Did you ever hear of that program American Airlines started or were affiliated with a couple of years ago?. It was called " Adopt a Sato" or something along those lines. The issue started getting some much needed media attention for a minute there.
Junior

San Juan, Puerto Rico

#14 Nov 20, 2013
Yankee In Puerto Rico wrote:
Should we continue to ignore the homeless drug addicts or can something be done about it? In New York City it is illegal to panhandle. Drug addicts are taken under custody and given treatment. Do we pretend to act as if there is no drug addiction problems in Puerto Rico? Is the way we treat drug addiction and the homeless the shame of Puerto Rico?
You are so right, it is a shame.

Remember, Puerto Rico is not New York City.
Junior

San Juan, Puerto Rico

#15 Nov 20, 2013
Allan wrote:
Both are serious issues for the island and it seems little money is spent on either...
I agree, what are these people doing with their money?
Junior

San Juan, Puerto Rico

#16 Nov 20, 2013
El cacique wrote:
<quoted text> Excellent post, Al. Informative. This is an alarming problem.
Did you ever hear of that program American Airlines started or were affiliated with a couple of years ago?. It was called " Adopt a Sato" or something along those lines. The issue started getting some much needed media attention for a minute there.
You've said it, American Airlines.
Johnny

United States

#17 Nov 20, 2013
A dump truck with a mechanical arm should be invented to effortless pick up all junkies from the street. Maybe we could make dog food out of them and solve the starving dog problem.
Junior

San Juan, Puerto Rico

#18 Nov 20, 2013
Johnny wrote:
A dump truck with a mechanical arm should be invented to effortless pick up all junkies from the street. Maybe we could make dog food out of them and solve the starving dog problem.
A disproportionate amount of homeless, drug addicts and stray dogs in such a tiny island.

I tell ya', the quality of life here is third world at best.

Since: Sep 12

Puerto Rico

#19 Nov 20, 2013
Stray dogs and cats have no choice in the matter. Addicts on the other hand continue to make the same bad choices time and again. As for being being treated better, are you really suggesting addicts be taken to "shelters" and being put down?
Junior

San Juan, Puerto Rico

#20 Nov 20, 2013
JMWinPR wrote:
Stray dogs and cats have no choice in the matter. Addicts on the other hand continue to make the same bad choices time and again. As for being being treated better, are you really suggesting addicts be taken to "shelters" and being put down?
What is Puerto Rico doing with this population?

Such a tiny island with such an overwhelming disproportion of addicts and homeless population with serious mental health issues.

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