Six cast-iron street dog caricatures are now on permanent display in the center of San José, calling to public attention the plight of the one million abandoned dogs currently roaming Costa Rica.
Designed by renowned Costa Rican artist Francisco Munguía in conjunction with the dog charity Noah’s Ark Association, the Municipality of San José and the magazine Pets y Más, the mini-monuments can be found on the south side of the Central Market.
It is hoped the works will help associations such as Noah’s Ark find homes for such animals.
Munguía said, “Street dogs have interested me for a long time now, and I see them as a symbol of our society. After all, we are mutts too.
“Street dogs are intelligent, resilient and tough but, because they have been abandoned and left to their own devices, nobody wants to adopt them.”
The caricatures were inspired by six of the 23 street dogs that Munguía and his partner, Deborah, have been housing in a patio area built for that purpose behind their San José home.
Sadly, one of the six dogs, Bobi, suffered from and infection and was recently put to sleep.
“We found Bobi in a castration center,” Munguía said. “His nose had been mutilated by a machete or something similar, and no one wanted to adopt him. He was one of my favorites, and he had a lot of character. But we had to have him put to sleep because he was in a lot of pain. We are now down to 22 dogs.”
The cast-iron monuments, which stand approximately a meter high, were sprayed in a variety of colors at a car workshop near Munguía’s home.
The total cost of the monuments came in at $6,500. The municipality contributed $4,000, and the remaining $2,500 came from the Noah’s Ark Association and the Pets y Más magazine.