Marchers and their animals turn out in force for a party

This goat seems to like having a photo taken. A.M. Costa Rica/Shahrazad Encinias

From the top of Cuesta de Mora at the Museo Nacional, there was an endless view of people marching toward the Plaza de la Democracia, accompanied by banners, chanting and dogs barking. It isn’t everyday that thousands of people and their pets march side-by-side. Well in this case, pet preceding owner for a non-violent march through the streets of San José to bring awareness to animal cruelty.

More than 3,000 people participated in the “3ra Marcha contra el maltrato de animal,” the third annual march against the ill treatment of animals.

The day began with a large group of activists in Parque Central making their way to Plaza de la Democracia from Avenida 4 onto Avenida 2, where dozens of environmentally friendly, non-profit organizations and pet service tents offered their resources to all who participated.

The rain didn’t stop festivities. The men in stilts walked around, some even hopped around and caused certain pets to react in fear by howling and others in a growling attack mode.

Activists donned a variety of shirts that were all pro-animals, demanding the cruelty to end. Some went as far as to wear masks that represented animals, such as fish, cats, pigs and dogs. But it wasn’t just the humans that got to dress up. Many pets were out in their best outfit for the rally. There were pets in dresses, jerseys, vests, sweaters and raincoats. There were even some with crazy hair dye and bows. All in all it was a positive rally with animal lovers and their well-groomed pets. Regardless of the pet.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes were expected, as were some cats and even a bird or two, but there were alternative pets, like a goat. There were two goats who did walk side-by-side with their owner. When called on, Priscilla, the white goat with brown horns, would pose and stare for a picture. At one point she even nodded, in which the owner translated that Priscilla wanted another picture, which she got as a re-shoot atop the stairs of the plaza.

There also was a pot-bellied pig which most of the dogs greeted with confusion.

Organizers of the march are seeking approval of legislation that would establish the rights of animals into law.

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