First official animal rescue in the city of Mérida

Malnourished and with injured legs, a horse named “Pitufo” (Smurf), only three-and-a-half years old, was seen dragging heavy loads of more than 200 kilos for several miles every day for an indefinite period of time, and instead of any type of reward for its services, Pitufo just received lashes to trot faster.

This horse was a victim of constant abuse by its owner, Isidro A.C., who sells soil for gardens door by door around town.

But fortunately, on Thursday November 12th, the poor animal was finally rescued by agents of the Animal Protection Unit (Unidad de Protección Animal) of the Municipal Police of Merida.

The first operation by Merida’s Animal Rescue Unit within their jurisdiction was carried out November 12, 2015 (Photo:

The case of “Smurf” was reported anonymously by a kind soul to the proper authorities through a phone call to Ayuntatel 924 4000. And Judge Thelma Guadalupe Rivero Flores immediately notified the Unit of Animal Protection (UPA), according by a statement by City of Merida.

Aware of the situation, at 8:50 am, police officers came to Calle 77 (between 68 and 70), downtown Mérida, within walking distance from La Ermita, where the horse was found, forced to fullfill its abusive everyday tasks.

In this first operation by Merida’s Animal Rescue Unit within their jurisdiction, UPA agents actually witnessed first hand how this malnourished horse was carrying the whole weight of the cart, its cargo and the owner, who was using his whip to make the poor animal go faster.

In addition, a rope that was tied in a rustic way made lacerations and deep wounds on the animal’s skin, and apparently one of the horseshoes was not well adapted, causing great pain that was clearly visible when Smurf was walking.

The outcome of the operation: presumed animal abuse as established by law.