La Paz, Aug 16 (EFE).- Bolivia paid tribute on Monday to dogs with activities like fostering their adoption as pets, parades and the launching of a canine ranking and promotion system within the Police – all surrounding the festival of St. Roch, the patron saint of dogs.
Bolivian President Luis Arce, along with several government ministers and senators, participated in events held to commemorate “man’s best friend.”
The first event was held at the Park of the Cultures in La Paz next to the Mi Teleferico cable transport company where the Bolivian government provided food donations for the “community pack” of 79 dogs who are being housed in different cable car stations.
Then, about five public officials, including Deputy Culture Minister Juan Carlos Cordero and the president of the Senate, Andronico Rodriguez, among others, adopted dogs as pets while the other canines housed at the tram stations participated in a parade.
Arce emphasized in his speech on the occasion that dogs are “faithful friends” who stand by people through both the good and bad times, and he urged the public to remember dogs all year long and not only on this date.
“We Bolivians are caring, we’re cooperative, not only among ourselves but also with the most vulnerable, and our little four-legged furry friends are also part of the Bolivian family,” Arce said.
In addition, he called for the same consideration to be shown to street dogs.
After the event, Arce participated in the procedure for formally launching a canine ranking and promotion system at the National Police Academy in La Paz along with Government Minister Eduardo del Castillo and Police Commandant Jhonny Aguilera.
At that event, Arce recognized the canines who had distinguished themselves in their work and also symbolically “retired” about a dozen police dogs.
In addition, the authorities incorporated nine new dogs – including golden retrievers and German shepherds – into the academy to be trained for police work and to help fulfill the objectives of the Bolivian Police.
The government minister emphasized work being performed by the trainers in teaching the dogs how to go about their duties, saying that the creation of the canine ranking ladder comes in response to certain objectives like regulating bringing dogs into the ranks and promoting them within the police institution, along with adding a regulation recognizing dogs as “full members of the Police.”
“Let’s begin adopting dogs, not only in the Police but also as a task for all Bolivians,” Del Castillo said.
Meanwhile, Arce emphasized that the ranking system “synthesizes the history of heroic canines” who have passed through the police ranks, adding that it is important to recognize the contribution they have made.
“We must fight every sort of oppression that causes the suffering of animals. This should be a world for all living beings,” the Bolivian leader said.
Then, the ceremony was held for the dogs who are moving into retirement – and thus into “reserve” status on the police – the majority of them being experts in detecting explosives, riot control and in searching for missing persons.
In like manner, in the city of Oruro the police department held a street parade featuring dogs belonging to the institution with the participation of other animal organizations.
During this past weekend in La Paz, authorities vaccinated and sterilized a number of dogs as part of the celebration.
The social networks were also filled with photographs of various dogs and the gifts and treats that many pet owners showered upon them for the festival.