I have been reading some pretty scary reviews about Old San Juan concerning tons of stray cats and dogs. Is this true? Are there lots of stray cats and dogs just running around? Some of the things I've heard are that many of them are starving and approach people looking for food. I am extremely and deathly afraid of dogs and allergic to cats and cannot be around them. (I was bitten by a dog several years ago while on vacation)Am I going to be stuck on the ship!!! For anyone who has been to this port, please provide some feedback.
The other thing I heard is that they come up to you as you are sitting at tables outside restaurants and beg for food. If the animals are truly starving that is really a shame and I would not like to see or hear that because it is not right. On the other hand, I want to feel reasonablly safe when we get off the ship.
I was in San Juan in early April and spend the day walking around the old town. I did not see any stray dogs, just a few human beggars. I stopped at a couple of outdoor cafes for drinks but did not see any stray dogs around.
I went for a long walk along the ocean, just below the El Morro. It is a beautiful walk, however there are a lot of feral cats living there among the rocks. Although they are strays, they certainly are not starving. There was lots of cat food along the one-mile walk that people leave for the cats. The cats just lie there and mind their own business. I've never seen so many varieties of cats before. I am also allergic to cats but did not suffer any reaction. A few of the more friendly cats actually came around and rubbed themselves against my leg.
I think some of the stories on the internet get totally exaggerated. I think if you confine your walking in the old part of San Juan, you will be okay.
Don't let some of these opinion you have read stop you from exploring San Juan. The old town has been beautifully restored and I felt totally safe walking around by myself. Even though I was a single female, I was never harassed in any way in San Juan. If you don't feel comfortable walking around by yourself, sign up of a walking tour with a group. It would be a shame for you to miss seeing this beautiful old city. It truly is beautiful, especially if you love the colonial Spanish architecture.
Stray dogs and cats (and chickens too) will be found in most ports in the Caribbean. I have never encountered a situation where an animal bothered us enough that it was any concern at all. Usually the dogs walk right by and cats will stay away from direct contact. Certainly this is not enough to be of concern to you.
We've never had any problems with the presence of dogs, cats or any other animals in San Juan. We walked all over the island. Even places they tell tourists not to go, and didn't have a single problem from animals or humans. We especially did not have any cats rub up against us or get even close enough to bother allergies. You will be fine and will enjoy this destination so much!
hmmm.......if there were any i dont remember so it could not have been that big of a problem. what i DO remember was the homeless man lying in the middle of the sidewalk. i think the only dog i saw running around belonged to someone and they were playing frisbee near El Morro (big beautiful field near the fortress)
i wouldnt fear the stray dogs and cats. we were there in March it was beautiful and warm and i dont remember any animals and i think i would have noticed that because animal suffering really really bothers me.