Wed, Dec 26, 2012 - Page 7 News List

Chilean street dogs are protesters’ best friends

PAWS FOR THOUGHT:A police officer said dogs go to protests because of a pack instinct, playing with jets from water cannons and not knowing what’s going on

AP, SANTIAGO

“I see the ritual everyday: police dogs patrolling the streets and strays watching over their territory,” said Mario Guitierrez, a 52-year-old artist at the square who plans to make the protest dogs the subject of his next work. “They meet, they stare, and it seems like the police dogs get scared. The street dogs are brave!”

Police officer Eduardo Basaez of the department’s canine training unit strolled by with Lola, his seven-year-old German shepherd. They have both been part of street clashes, but Basaez said police dogs and horses are being used less these days to keep them safe.

“Dogs go to the protests because of a pack instinct. They play with the water jets, they’re happy and don’t know what’s going on,” Basaez said. “I’m a dog lover and I feel sorry for the street dogs. I live in an apartment, but if I had a tract of land I would take them all home with me.”

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