MEXICO CITY — Police searched an urban park for wild dogs Tuesday and tested two dozen of them to find the animals that have mauled four people to death recently.
The Associated Press reports The situation has set off a fierce debate about how to handle the thousands of stray dogs that roam the massive city.
Rather than calming residents, pictures of the captured dogs brought a wave of sympathy for the animals and debate about how the government handles the feral dog problem.
An online campaign began calling on authorities not to euthanize the animals. Tens of thousands of dogs are put down in Mexico each year if they’re captured by animal control officers and not claimed within 72 hours.
A 26-year-old woman, her 1-year-old baby and a teenage couple were found dead, covered in dog bit marks in two separate attacks in recent days.
Pictures of the dogs spread quickly on social media.
Real photos that look fake
People of Walmart
Awkward Family Photos
Experts are testing the dogs’ hair for traces of human blood and will also test their stomach contents, authorities said.
The AP reports packs of stray dogs roam the streets of parts of Iztapalapa, a massive and poor district on the eastern outskirts of Mexico City.
Hundreds of thousands of spectators gather each Holy week in the Cerro de la Estrella park to watch a reenactment of the mock crucifixion of Christ.
The captured dogs had been living in caves and crevices in the park, prosecutors said.