Quito grapples with dead dog problem

Dec 2, 2013

Citizens of Quito are demanding that the city do something about the dead dogs that litter streets and highways.

Residents of one neighborhood walked two Quito city councilmen through area streets last week, pointing out the remains of two dogs killed in traffic. “These have been here for weeks,” said Juan Gonzalez who lives in the Av. Mariscal Sucre area of central Quito. “They stink and they cause disease. We need help in cleaning this up.”

A television cameraman accompanying the councilmen, trained his camera on an dog carcass surrounded by a cloud of flies.

The operations manager for the city solid waste department says that his employees can remove only about 20 dog carcasses a week. “This is only a tiny fraction of dead dogs that need to be taken away,” said Milton Rubio, operations manager. “There are probably 200 that don’t get picked up each week.”

Rubio says he is talking to city officials, requesting funds to hire additional personnel to remove the road kill.

Rubio says there are an estimated 372,000 stray dogs in Quito, the majority of them living in populated areas.