Those protests are starting to spill over from the Internet to the street, pressuring the authorities to act. "The visibility that social networks give to animal cruelty puts more pressure to pass laws," Dent told AFP.
Demonstrators have held rallies in recent months in Honduras, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Uruguay calling for harsher laws to fight animal cruelty.
In countries such as Mexico and Uruguay, animal cruelty is a crime but offenders are rarely punished.
Most countries in Latin America impose only a small fine for abusers. In Colombia, for example, the fines range from $2 to $20.
"These laws are on the books, but they're not enforced. Prosecutors aren't trained to implement them," said Leonora Esquivel, head of animal rights group Anima Naturalis Mexico.
In Costa Rica, a country whose economy depends on tourists drawn to its world-famous rainforests and wildlife, activists are calling on Congress to impose prison terms for animal cruelty -- a fight that has gained momentum since the attack on Grecia the toucan.
Lawmakers wary of the legislation are trying to amend it to continue allowing bullfights, a tradition inherited from Spain during the colonial era that remains popular in much of Latin America.
In Venezuela, bullfights remain legal alongside cockfights and "coleo," a Latin American twist on rodeo where cowboys on horseback try to grab young bulls by the tail and pull them to the ground.
Bulls are also at the center of a legal row in Colombia, where a court last week ordered the reopening of the bullfighting ring in the capital Bogota, whose mayor, Gustavo Petro, had ordered it closed in 2012 as part of a campaign against cruelty to animals.