File - French bulldog Dago gets a workout on a treadmill with trainer Israel Martinez at the Pet Central spa in Mexico City.
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The 2000 film "Amores Perros" used the brutal treatment of dogs as a metaphor for the inhumanity of contemporary Mexican society.Mexico has an estimated 20 million dogs or more, many of them roaming the streets hunting for food or spending their days shut up in apartments by owners who see them simply as living burglar alarms.Last year, the problem gained international attention when authorities said five people had been killed by a pack of feral dogs in the Cerro de Estrella park in Iztapalapa, a poor eastern neighborhood of Mexico City. Authorities captured some 50 dogs near where the attacks took place and brought them to a pound, prompting demonstrations by animal rights activists that pushed officials to put the dogs up for adoption.Palma, who has two dogs, spent $300 on the birthday party for 11 canines and 16 people, complete with cake, presents and snacks, at a dog hotel featuring a gym and massage and aromatherapy services.Dogs have become more popular and pampered in working-class areas, too.
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