SAN JOSE, Costa Rica—From how to improvise a muzzle to the correct way to treat a poisoned cat or dog—these were some of the topics addressed at Humane Society International/Latin America’s first aid training. The workshop was given to 20 judicial police agents from the new specialized section against environmental crimes and other regional offices.
The new section has dealt with 83 cases of animal cruelty nationwide from April to December 2022. HSI/Latin America seeks to provide judicial agents with tools so that they can safeguard animal lives at crime scenes, while protecting valuable evidence.
“We analyzed the most common examples of animal cruelty, for example, physical injuries resulting in fractures, bleeding and burns, and how agents can give the animal a better chance to survive, but always paying attention to the surroundings so as not to lose evidence that can contribute to cruelty cases,” said Sofia Herra, cruelty prevention and companion animals program manager for HSI/Latin America.
Workshop participants also practiced helping an animal in the event of poisoning, suffocation or heat stroke, how to apply bandages and temporary splints, and responding when a dog or cat has a seizure or suffers cardiorespiratory arrest.
“Agents from this specialized section are often the first to respond to complaints of animal cruelty in cases taken by the Judicial Police. Therefore, this workshop was very useful since it provides us with tools to deal with these situations and help the animals involved, always preserving the integrity of crime scene,” said investigator Shirley Calderon of the specialized section against environmental crimes.
HSI/Latin America seeks to work jointly with government institutions that address animal cruelty in Costa Rica. “We want to support their capacity building, with workshops such as this one, but we are also interested in actively contributing to preventing and reducing animal cruelty cases in the country,” Herra said.
Media contact: Alejandra Zuniga: 7012-5598; firstname.lastname@example.org