SANTIAGO – “Ley Cholito” entered into force. The law regulates responsible pet ownership and establishes norms for better coexistence with animals. It applies only to dogs and cats for the moment.
On February 12 ends a deadline for Chileans to register their pets in the national pets registry. The database was created to maintain control of animal ownership in the country and related responsibility.
According to government website “Mascota Protegida” (Protected Pet), the law “promotes responsible ownership based on three axes: veterinary services, education, and citizen participation.”
What it is Ley Cholito?
This new regulation establishes the duties of pet owners, who must declare ownership, get their pet a microchip implanted (the procedure is harmless and free), take responsibility for their pet’s food and health management, and any damage it caused, according to “Chile Atiende,” a government website to keep citizens informed.
Those who don’t comply face fines from CLP$ 40,000 to CLP$ 1.5 million (US$ 60-2,200). At the same time, this law sets harsh penalties, including jail time, for animal abuse.
The Plight of Chilean Strays
So far, 250,000 animals are registered, only 5% of the 5 million pets estimated to live in Chile. For now, only owners of dogs and/or cats are affected.
The law is named in honor of “Cholito,” a dog that was battered in Santiago.
Undersecretary of Regional Development Felipe Salaberry told broadcaster T13 that the inspections will be “informative” at the beginning.
100.000 stray dogs to be sterilized in Metropolitan area
Nelson Quiroz is Chile Today´s photographer. He also writes about youth culture and fashion, and often contributes with photo series during marches and protests.