SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - The fury over the killing of dozens of dogs and cats that were seized in Puerto Rico has gone global.
Thousands of people have signed an online petition calling on the governor of the U.S. territory to ensure that those who hurled about 80 animals off a highway bridge last week are brought to justice.
Nadia Donato, a 39-year-old New Yorker, said an Associated Press story last week about the slaughter of the dogs and cats drove her to tears -- and to launch the petition drive.
A local activist will deliver the list of names and messages to Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila's residence in San Juan during a demonstration on Sunday, Donato said.
The petition's website (www.thepetitionsite.com/1/puerto-rico-pet-massacre) had more than 6,700 entries Wednesday night. Many who signed are from Puerto Rico, but signatures also appear from as far away as Finland, Argentina, Malaysia and Australia.
"I sincerely feel very furious," Zariely Marie Arroyo Cintron of Puerto Rico, one of the signers, wrote to the governor. "Please investigate and do justice. These people don't deserve to be called Puerto Rican."
Julio Diaz, owner of the company that was hired by the town of Barceloneta to remove the dogs and cats from three housing projects, has denied that his employees flung the 50 pets and 30 strays from the bridge last week.
Barceloneta officials said their role in the handling of the animals ended once they were loaded into vehicles of the company, Animal Control Solutions.
Police are investigating. Puerto Rico police chief Pedro Toledo has said those responsible could face cruelty charges that carry prison terms of as much as three years.