Telemundo presenter María Celeste Arrarás is working with The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association on a campaign to dramatically improve the welfare of dogs and cats in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico native appears in a series of advertisements and public service announcements that groups are revealing and that will soon appear on the island.

“My heart breaks every time I come home and see all of the homeless dogs and cats roaming the streets,” said Arrarás. “These are our companions and we need to do more to help them, which is why I’m committed to working with The Humane Society of the United States to do all I can to help curb pet overpopulation and puppy mills on my island.”

A group of Puerto Rican leading media representatives are unveiling the ads at a meeting with attendees such as attorney general César Miranda Rodríguez. Puerto Rican officials are helping to spread the word on the island with pledges to help place the advertisements on billboards, bus stations and other locations.

“María Celeste Arrarás understands the importance of animal welfare and we’re so grateful to have her support for this campaign,” said Yolanda Alvarez, Puerto Rico director for the HSUS. “Knowing that we have so much support for carrying these messages to the population gives me hope that we will make things better here.”

The campaign emphasizes the importance of spaying and neutering to end uncontrolled breeding and pet overpopulation. It focuses on promoting the adoption of pets from animal shelters instead of buying animals from pet stores, flea markets, online stores or from other sources that purchase dogs from substandard breeders.

“I’m appreciative of the efforts of the HSUS in educating, raising awareness and taking action to eliminate animal cruelty in Puerto Rico,” said Clarisa Jiménez, president of the PRHTA. I also want to thank our guests, who will collaborate with great effort so that no Puerto Rican on the island is left without knowing about the importance of adoption, and spay and neuter of our pets, but above all, Puerto Rico as a tourist attraction.”

Humane Society International, which is the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States, operates a spay-neuter clinic on the island, and is hoping that an influx of funds from tourists exposed to the campaign and other sources will enable them to increase capacity in future years.

The HSUS has provided training and equipment to animal shelter professionals, law enforcement and others in an effort to increase enforcement of animal welfare laws and humanely reduce the population of stray animals. Additionally, every elementary school classroom on the island is receiving a complimentary one-year subscription to Kind News, which is the HSUS’ bi-monthly newsletter for school students. Issues are arriving in classrooms as the school year gets underway.

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