By The Star Staff
The Madero Carazo High School in Trujillo Alto will be the first in Puerto Rico to start an awareness program on the treatment of animals as part of the parameters of the new Law 5-2024, which establishes a series of activities in observance of the second Sunday in February as “Pet Awareness Day.”
The new program will also feature a robust dog and cat food drive for abandoned pets on the island. It is estimated that around 400,000 to 500,000 dogs roam the streets, while the population of stray cats exceeds one million.
The pet food drive is part of “Shelters, Animal Rescuers and Pet Awareness & Adoption in Puerto Rico Week” activities.
The announcement was made by Carolina District Sen. Marissa “Marissita” Jiménez Santoni after a meeting with Education Secretary Yanira Raíces Vega and staff and a student from Madero Carazo High School.
“I thank the secretary for accepting our request that the new awareness program on the good treatment of animals, pets, according to Law 5-2024, begin in this important high school, which already has a pilot program for assistance to real animals,” said the senator, who authored the law.
“The Madero Carazo school group, led by exceptional students, including [10th grader] Paola [...] suggested a food collection campaign, which we supported and the secretary authorized to begin now, in February,” Jiménez Santoni said.
The school has an enrollment of 350 students.
Law 5-2024 amends Articles 1 and 2, and adds a new Article 4, as well as renumbering Article 4 as Article 5 of Law 166-2019.
The state and education secretaries “will have a leading role in the new framework,” the senator said. The former will develop the proclamation for the commemoration of the new pet awareness day, while the latter will implement activities related to the care and treatment of the animals.