February 10, 2009
Cop Cycles to End Cruelty
Agent Angel Eduardo Torres of the Puerto Rico Police Department (Guayanilla, Badge No. 20317) was burning mad when he heard about a dog that had been lit on fire after being doused with gasoline and left to die because a man was angry with his wife. It was the straw that broke the camel's back for Agent Torres, who had recently attended the Humane Society International (HSI) Adoption & Shelter Care Workshop, which was locally organized by Amigos de los Animales. Agent Torres was inspired to create a police taskforce in his area to combat animal cruelty and make the prosecution of such cases the norm rather than the exception.
Agent Torres, along with friend and Ponce Animal Shelter employee Carmelo Rodriguez, took vacation time, jumped on their bicycles and toured the island's animal shelters to lend a helping hand, lobbying politicians to create a substantial taskforce and even sleeping outdoors to get a feel for what homeless animals in Puerto Rico go through each night. According to Rodriguez, who also attended the HSI workshop, they were well-received by the media: they did radio interviews, television covered some of the legs of their journey and they were written about in a local newspaper.
An Inspiring Tour
The dynamic duo visited the Ponce Shelter, El Faro de los Animales, Humacao Shelter and Guaynabo Shelter, and planned to lobby politicians on the San Juan city steps and hand out literature at the Calle San Sebastian street festival before heading west toward Aguadilla, Mayaguez and Cabo Rojo, and finally home to end their awareness campaign. Rodriguez said he didn't know how long the tour would take in its entirety and was just happy to be a part of Agent Torres's inspiration to make a difference for Puerto Rico's abandoned and abused pets.
Amazed and inspired by Agent Torres's actions, Amigos de los Animales President Elizabeth Kracht said, "I hope Agent Torres's actions snowball and that more people are inspired to try and make a difference for Puerto Rico's abused and abandoned animals. He is a shining example of what a person can do to make a difference for our fellow creatures."