Cotacachi, Ecuador: Walking in some areas presents risks of attacks by dogs

Posted on January 8, 2017 • Filed under: Ecuador, Ecuador Emergency

Living in small communities and in rural areas is quite attractive to many expats. However, one risk that few sources mention or warn about is that of potential attacks by dogs. There are a lot of loose dogs in Ecuador or those who are not contained to protect pedestrians. This is especially the case in rural areas.

This is an event that happened on June 7, 2017, in Cotacachi to an expat. The information is extracted from a Facebook group. Names have been redacted. It is recommended when walking in some areas to carry a cane, stick, and pepper spray also works well against aggressive dogs.
Saturday afternoon: just back from taking my friend to the police station and the hospital. He is okay, but was attacked by a German Sheppard dog on 10 de Agosto (by the bridge on the way out of town). The victim walks twice a day and today a gate was open and a very aggressive dog ran out and bit him in the thigh. Luckily, he was wearing a fairly new pair of jeans, so the dog couldn’t take a large chunk out of his leg. He was bruised and his pants ripped.

We went to the police station and at first they said there was nothing they could do, but we insisted they go with us to talk to the owners. The gate was closed and no one came to it. We asked neighbors who the owner was, and then went to her store.. The owner at first said it wasn’t her dogs, but when the victim could answer her in Spanish, she backed off and said that a worker must have left the gate open. She also said that “foreigners” poke sticks at the dogs and annoy them, and that it wasn’t their fault. I became pretty angry and told her that wasn’t our fault either. I asked the police in front of her if the victim had the right to protect himself with force if the dogs ever came after him again, and they said yes. The owner apologized profusely, and said that she would be more careful in the future. I then told her that if anything like this ever happened to us again, we would swear out a denuncia against her.

The police also told her that she had to pay for any medical care he needed. We went to the hospital, where they cleaned the wounds, and gave Dave a prescription for ibuprofen (ER visit free). As we already had Tylenol and Advil, we didn’t get the ‘script filled ($1.45 for the 3 times a day, for 3 days prescription).

While waiting in the ER, neighbors told us about a soap (sold at Tia for $.45) called Ales (a blue bar of soap)….you make a paste of the suds and leave on the bruise until dry and it keeps you from bruising a lot….apparently if you have been smacked around it keeps you from looking too bad the next day. Live and Learn. The police recommend that the victim carry a stick with him on his walks from now on, he had already thought of that on his own. Lesson learned.



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