Lydia Maldonado, whom many affectionately call “Cucha”, does not sleep peacefully when she knows that an abandoned puppy is starving, that its coat is eaten away by mange or that the defenseless animal is mistreated or is in danger of being run over by an irresponsible driver .
For several years, the simple woman has become a rescuer and protector of dogs and cats in the La Puntilla neighborhood, in Cataño, where her voluntary work has managed to save the lives of many animals, some abandoned to their fate by their owners.
In recent days his disinterested work has caught the attention of Catañenses, as it began with an initiative to put necklaces with lights and reflective vests on several abandoned dogs in an attempt to prevent cars from hitting them and getting badly injured.
“What I want is for there to be more awareness towards our animals, they do not speak, but with their eyes they tell you many things,” Maldonado said in an interview with Primera Hora.
He indicated that it is about three dogs, a Chihuahua, a mixed pit bull and another sato who were from neighbors in the La Puntilla neighborhood who left the place and left the animals alone. He added that the dogs are fed by another neighbor and since they run around in the street, they are afraid that a car will give them a sing-song.
“Many cars pass by there for miles and they are trying to put some dead (speed bumps), but in the meantime, first I put a reflective vest on them, but they play, take them off. About two weeks ago I got the necklaces with lights and everyone is very happy, “said Maldonado.
He said that when people see the dogs with the lights, many stop and say: ‘look, they look like Christmas trees’ and I tell them: ‘that’s for the cars to see’. So they tell me hopefully that in other towns they will do it too, “he said.
Given the reception that the initiative has had, she said that with the help of neighbors she is trying to get more necklaces, but they cost more than $ 7. “We are trying to put those collars on other dogs that are on other streets. I try to put necklaces on him to identify them, ”he said.
“I didn’t think this was going to be a ‘boom’. Everyone has commented on it, even the mayor (Félix“ El Cano ”Delgado),” said the woman, who said that she is in charge of more than twenty dogs and cats in different parts of the Puntilla neighborhood. He added that rescuers Beatriz Rodríguez and Norma Cruz, from the Community Alliance, work with the vaccination and sterilization of animals.
“At my house now I have seven dogs. I have always had many little dogs. I also have several cats. Sometimes it is tiring and uphill, but the satisfaction is great, “he said.
He said that on the street many people approach him to ask him questions and ask him for advice about their pets. “They always look for me and ask me. I suggest things to them, but I tell them right away that I’m not a veterinarian. I try to solve, because I have cured many dogs that have been left in the streets with mange. At home I have a beautiful dog that was full of scabies and that I cured. That’s Nene “, said” Cucha “, who preferred not to be photographed for this report.
She said that from a very young age she liked animals, especially dogs. “Now I have become more fond of them. I have learned to be more aware of them when they are sick. I really like to help those who have skin conditions, those who are abandoned. For those I have cured, it is something very nice because scabies has not returned ”, he explained.
He said that the last dog he rescued and whom he calls Negri, was very surly and would bite him. “Little by little I negotiated with her. She was so surly that she wouldn’t let myself be touched and now she goes to me and licks my face. I talk to her and say: ‘You see it’s not that difficult, now you have a roof to eat and You don’t have to go around looking for something to eat on the street, ” ‘Maldonado said.
“As long as I can help them, I help them, my health is not very good, but I ask God to give me many years of life to continue dealing with these defenseless animals. For me it is a therapy ”, expressed the commendable woman.
He called on drivers to be more aware. “To guide you don’t have to speed because you can bump into an animal and a person. There are some people who have no conscience when they run over a dog or a cat, as if the life of the animals were worth nothing, “he reproached.
He also exhorted mothers and fathers to teach their children the value of animals as living beings.
“Let them take care of them because the animals have a value in life and in the community. That when they see them on the street they give them food and protect them, that they do not abandon them, mistreat them and make them part of the community. They can give you a lot of love, without anything in return, “said” Cucha. “