The fear and loathing had been building in the ranchitos since news first got out about two dogs that were attacked and viciously mauled by a pack of three Rottweilers. Two Americans had their dogs mauled in two separate attacks by the same group of Rottweilers. Both attacks occurred on the 25th of August. The whole affair ended in flames, literally speaking, on the 13th of October, a Saturday night, when some time around midnight, someone burned down a trailer that sits on lot right behind were the Rottweilers lived. Certainly not a coincidence. The act of arson most certainly was in retaliation for the poisoning of the Rottweilers. Oh yea I haven’t mentioned yet, the Rottweilers are dead. Someone apparently chucked some cyanide laced meat balls or equally toxic culinary fare over the fence, vaya con dios Rottweilers. The owner of the lot where the trailer was torched was not on the premises. The trailer had no electric services or gas hooked up to it and was vacant. It was certainly arson, there is little doubt about it.
Since the fire the Viva San Carlos forum, where this was all publicized first, has gone silent. The fire may have achieved what the comisario of San Carlos and the moderator of the Viva San Carlos forum seemed incapable of. And that is everyone now appears to have taken a step or two back in reflection. To bad no one took a step or two back before the poisoning of the dogs and then the arson of the trailer, but this is a catholic country and it would seem, in good old testament stye, an eye for an eye has been at play here.
If you read the viva san carlos forum within hours of the attack there were no less than 9 people that posted on the forum that the Rottweilers should be put down ASAP. Was someone from the Viva forum guilty of poisoning these dogs? It would certainly seem so. The whole sordid ordeal started when the Rottweilers were let out accidently by the owners girlfriend sometime around midnight on the 25th of August. Apparently the girl friend did not shut the gate properly. The Rottweilers roamed the neighborhood all night and then in the morning mauled a dog over at the christian church. After the church incident the Rottweilers walked home and mauled another dog who lived close by. Pictures of the second dog Paco remain on the forum. There are multiple puncture marks and Paco was on the operating table for three hours.
The owner of the Rottweilers agreed that morning to pay the vet costs and to remove the dogs to Hermosillo. But something changed after that first day. Perhaps the owner read the forum and saw all the Americans vitriolic posts about killing/murdering his dogs and changed his mind? We don’t know yet if that is true but what is fact is that the owner of the Rottweilers never paid the vet fees for the injured dogs nor removed the dogs. What is also fact is that the local commisario, Efrain Soto, did absolutely nothing about the dogs. A police report about the dog attack was filed and multiple emails were sent to the commisario but he never once addressed the issue with the owners of the dogs who were attacked personally. No phone call to the owners, no visit to their house and no returned emails. The commisario did indeed speak with the owner of the Rottweilers, but what the commisario did not do is clear. He did not resolve the problem.
If you read the viva forum things only got worse after the initial attack. By the 3rd of October the Rottweilers had now dug a hole under their fence into the lot next door and it would seem could come and go as they pleased. On this day the dogs once again tried to get at poor Paco, who was minding his own business behind his own fence. Paco’s owner herded the dogs back to their house with some kind of pepper spray while riding his ATV. He then secured the not terribly secure gate so that they could not get out again.
The posts on the viva forum got considerably more aggressive after the October 3rd incident. Just hours after the incident Marlinmaster posted this,
“O.K. , I know none of us Gringos have guns, but some Policia needs to put a bullet in the head of these beasts. and I do not not want to hear ant guff from any of you bleeding hearts ! These dogs need to be put down….PERIOD !”
The owner of the Rottweilers was out of town while the dogs were, according to the viva forum, running wild in the ranchitos and when he was finally informed of what was happening he rushed back from Tijuana to deal with problem. He arrived on the afternoon of the 10th of October to find that the police had plugged up the holes his dogs had dug under the fence with lawn furniture and bricks. That very same evening that he returned the animals were poisoned. The owner believes that who ever poisoned them waited for him to return so that he could witness their death.
Shortly after the dogs were poisoned a friend of the owner posted on face book who they thought the culprits were, where they lived and even went so far as to include a map to the alleged dog killers compound. It was the following Saturday that a trailer belonging to one of those accused of killing the dogs was burned to the ground. Certainly it was in retaliation for the poisoning of the dogs.
Is the Viva San Carlos forum complicit in the poisoning of these Rottweilers and then the subsequent arson of the trailer as redemption for the poisoning?
Comparative Negligence: In the end after speaking with all those involved the term comparative negligence comes to mind. In the legal world the term is used mostly in car accidents and defined as follows, a rule of law applied in accident cases to determine responsibility and damages based on the negligence of every party directly involved in the accident.
There is obvious comparative negligence on all parties involved in this matter.
- The owner: of the Rottweilers was verifiably negligent in the following ways. The dogs escaped onto the street and on one occasion and one occasion only attacked two other dogs on the same day. The Owner of the dogs did not pay any vet bills associated with the attack. The Owner of the dogs did not secure the area where the dogs lived and after time were able to escape their yard on their own and roam the streets of the Ranchitos on several occasions.
- The Viva San Carlos Forum & its moderator: Within hours of the first and only incident when these dogs attacked other dogs there were already nine posts on the forum calling for these dogs to be either shot or poisoned. The moderator of the forum continued to allow the out raged villagers to fan the flames of the fire and post comments on killing the animals. This response exemplifies the police state vigilante type of mentality America’s law enforcement sector is in love with and that you see in the United States all the time. Brute force and ignorance first, negotiation and arbitration last.
- The absentee Comisario: I spoke with the comisario and I thank him immensely for taking the time to speak with me. In the end I feel he could have done more to defuse the situation. He could have called all interested parties into his office and arbitrated, much like is done in Guaymas in labor lawsuits. He could have insisted the owner of the dogs be more responsible for his animals and he could have told the Americans that demanding that the dogs be put down because of one incident was extreme and unfair to the owner of the dogs not to mention the animals themselves and I suspect against the law. The Comisario could have easily called the Guaymas dog pound when the dogs were frequently escaping from their yard. The dog pound would have picked them up and placed them in the pound. If the owner did not claim them within a week they would have been put down by electrocution. Many things could have been done before the animals were poisoned.
The San Carlos Double Standard: If the dogs would have been owned by an American anyone who has lived in San Carlos for any amount of time knows there would have been hell to pay for the gringo owners. There would have been fines, there would have been vet bills that would have had to have been paid. I have spoken to Americans who have lived here for many years and who told me that their animals had indeed gotten out and bitten people. Police informed them that if it happened again the dogs could be shot. The double standard that exists here is clear and I see nothing in this latest incident that shows anything much has changed in San Carlos except the people who inhabit the public offices.
Along with the Comisario I would like to thank the Comandante and Subcomandante for taking a great deal of time out of their day to speak with me. While I was speaking with them they were gracious enough to call into their office all of the officers who went out on calls to deal with the dogs. They insisted that they had nothing to do with killing the animals and they were completely unaware of the vitriolic posts on the Viva San Carlos board. After I translated the forum for them they believe that it was most likely someone from the forum that poisoned the dogs. Who ever did poison the animals the argument that they could have attacked a child or an older resident simple doesn’t wash out. The message from the Mexicans was clear, kill my dog, I’ll burn down your house. I think for some, San Carlos just stopped being the paradise they thought it was. Que Lastima for everyone involved. Was anything learned from this fiasco? One can only hope.