This is the story of how one man took Disney’s 101 Dalmatians as a call to action and wound up with a backyard full of poop.
Nelson Vergara felt directly inspired by the classic animated film to start his own dog rescue initiative. He currently has 42 dalmatians living in the backyard of his small Chilean home, drives a van covered in black spots, and refers to himself as the “Dalmatian Man,” reports the Mother Nature Network.
“It all started because of that film,” he told the AP. “That was computer-generated. But I wanted to do the real thing.”
But his real-life re-enactment of the film has earned him some negative attention from neighbors and local authorities. He has received numerous complaints about the odor coming from his yard, and officials have threatened him with eviction if he doesn’t clean up his act.
All Vergara wants to do is raise awareness about the stray dog problem in Chile and inspire others to action. According to the country’s Humane Society, pets are rarely spayed or neutered, and strays roam the streets freely.
“I wanted to help — not just the Dalmatians but all dogs, because in Chile we need a solution to the canine problem,” he said. “Every day you see news of abandoned dogs roaming, but no one does anything about it. If we had a shelter, we wouldn’t have these kinds of problems.”
But there are real-world problems piling up. Aside from poop, most of his rescued dalmatians suffer from malnutrition. Neighbors worry that he didn’t really think his quest through practically. Online observers have also offered some gentle criticism.
“This man’s heart is definitely in the right place but without proper assistance and ample space, the job of caring for that many dogs is too overwhelming,” said one commenter.
Do you think that Vergara’s 101 Dalmatians rescue project is impractical?