Friday, November 27, 2015

First there were three, and then there was one

These are the two boys.
 These three pups were rescued on September 20th, 2015. This is their story:

On that date we were holding a large Sterilization Campaign in the Buenos Aires Colonia. One volunteer walked to a small park just two blocks away and was about to eat her lunch when she saw something terrible. A man came into the park and dumped three tiny puppies that he had in a bucket. They were all less than 3 pounds and they were all 4 weeks old. All three were near starvation, weak and infested with worms and fleas.

Any human with a heart would not be able to leave 3 defenseless puppies in a huge park next to a very busy road to basically get killed or die of starvation. So, she picked them up and brought them to the clinic to find a solution. They obviously needed immediate medical attention in order to become healthy and then be moved into a foster home.

 It has always been our mission to do what is best for the animals and so vets and volunteers present worked together to make arrangements for the pups to receive 'round-the-clock attention. Amazingly, this was accomplished and the pups would not be alone any longer.

This is the girl.
Being in the rescue industry means that we have to be flexible and willing to do what it takes to help the animals. And yes, things happen that are unexpected and unplanned and that is just the way it is. One cannot control where and when situations like this will present themselves. Three innocent souls were saved on that Sunday and it was the only thing that could be done at the time.

With that watchful supervision, both male puppies quickly showed improvement, but the girl puppy was very sickly. Sadly, the girl did not survive.

Once the two boys were nursed back to health, they were transferred to their foster home. Then some time after that, it was discovered that the larger of the two had been born with a severe and painful heart condition, and ultimately it was decided that he be put down humanely.

Today, only one of those pups remains and his name is Aidan. He will soon be ready for adoption. For adoption information please contact Vicky:
This is the largest of the two boys.
This is Aidan.


At the 2014 Doggy Street Festival we were fortunate enough to meet a very special group of people in the booth next to us, and they have been helping us ever since. We are referring to members of the Sunset Cliffs Animal Hospital.

From the beginning, Drs. Traversi and Berg have been very supportive and we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all of you for helping us with our animals and for always being so supportive of HSTJ and the cats and dogs of Tijuana.

Yes indeed, you are all a very special group of people.

On behalf of everyone at Humane Society de Tijuana,


Vicky Godoy,
Adoptions Coordinator,
Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana


 This is Bruno. Reportedly, someone from that area hacked off his hind leg with a machete. He wandered around and was found just a few hours later by Mr. Juan Villela, a long time rescuer.

Bruno was taken to the vet for immediate attention as well as frequent check-ups thereafter. According to the vet, his rescuer and the rest of the family did a great job at caring for Bruno's wound and it soon healed nicely.

But that dark moment in his life did not darken Bruno's golden spirit. His wonderful personality continued to shine through as bright as the sun's golden rays.

Once he healed completely, Bruno was taken to the U.S. where he now lives in a temporary foster home while he waits for his forever family to find him. With a spirit that shines so brightly, we are confident that it won't take long for someone to fall in love with him.

Tito Says "THANK YOU"

Tito, on the day that he was found.

Meet Tito, a male chihuahua. A young lady found him sitting on the sidewalk right outside her home.

Tito showed signs of malnutrition. He was so thin that when he stood up you could see his bones. In addition to that, he was suffering from a painful skin condition commonly known as mange. On his tail, on his neck, on his paws and along other parts of his body there were bright red patches of itchy skin that were swollen and sore.

If Tito could speak, he would also say, "Thank You"
His rescuers brought him in for treatment. He gradually recovered from his skin infection and was soon completely rehabilitated.

Tito was neutered and vaccinated and is now one happy, healthy chihuahua that is looking for his forever home.

On behalf of their entire family, who have jointly been rescuing animals for quite some time now, his rescuer writes:
"Gracias por sus donativos que nos hacen llegar. Sin su ayuda esto no seria posible."

"Thank you for all of the [food] donations that you send our way. Without them, this would not be possible."

We, in turn, extend that appreciation to you, our supporters.
Tito was treated and rehabilitated with help from your donations.
Thank you from all of us.



Peggy was abandoned in this cage for 6 months.

 This is Peggy. She was left abandoned by her owners at a veterinary office. There, she was subject to six months of neglect. For those six months she never left her cage.

She was rescued from there by a man and his daughter. She was steadily rehabilitated from her severe state of physical malnutrition and from her terrifying fear of humans.

Once she became healthy once again, Peggy was sterilized and vaccinated. Her true spirit began to shine through and her fear melted away.

Peggy may have lost her previous home, but she found her forever home with a man named Francisco and they now live in Tlaxcala, MEXICO. She is one happy pup and will never know fear and loneliness ever again.
Peggy gaining weight and
letting go of her fear
and apprehension.

Peggy with her new rescuers and her new dad, Francisco.

Peggy at present. A happy girl that got a second
chance at having a loving family.

Friday, September 11, 2015

August 2015 Report

The Doggie Street Festival, a whopping response at the HSTJ Center, a huge increase at our monthly clinic, a new way to distribute food, what’s new on the EduCan Project, update on cockapoo hoarding case, and the heartwarming story of a basset hound that fought a courageous battle until the very end. We invite you to read this month’s report.

The 2015 Doggie Street Festival 
We begin by thanking all of you who came out to show your support at our booth. Here are some fabulous pictures that capture the energy of the moment. It was such a boisterous festival, with lots of people coming and going, and many stopping by to say hello to our furry babies. We are happy to report that HSTJ brought 17 dogs to this event, and there were so many people interested in them that volunteers spent the rest of the month doing follow-up calls and visits, aside from our usual adoption events. We are all looking forward to next year's Festival! :-)

The HSTJ Center
This month there was a tremendous increase in the HSTJ Center program. This month vets performed an outstanding 163 spay/neuter surgeries!!! In addition to this, Dr. Angel Hernandez, head vet at the Center, performed eight different procedures, ranging from biopsies, gastrointestinal disorders, to splenectomies, and even a cesarean! Thanks to support from our donors we can subsidize these services year round, and thanks to the self-sacrificing labor of these vets, low-income families and rescuers have access to these services during regular business hours –and all at low cost, or no-cost to them. In fact, we have done the math, and on average, treatments at our Center cost only 31% of what they would cost elsewhere. Now that is progress! In the future, and if donations increase, we would love to open more of these Centers throughout Tijuana.

Monthly Clinics on the Up & Up
With a Grand Total of 62 surgeries in just one day, vets and volunteers alike worked in unison to accomplish such a great feat. A total of four vets attended this month's clinic, which was held in our very own facilities on August 23rd, 2015. Never a dull moment at these Mobile Clinics! Have you ever considered volunteering? If so, please see below, and if you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

***Can you help?***
We welcome volunteers to assist in this, and all of our other activities. There is always plenty to do and all help is greatly appreciated. If you are considering volunteering at a future event, contact us. Transportation into Mexico and back to the U.S. is provided by us.
And if you are a licensed veterinarian and would consider dedicating one full Sunday to perform cat/dog sterilizations in Tijuana, that would be fantastic too! 
Volunteers Coordinator:

Food Distribution program
Humane Society de Tijuana has always tried and tested new and innovative ways to approach the ordinary, and the food distribution program is no exception. In August, Board Members brainstormed new ways of getting dog/cat food donations directly to those who need it the most. They came up with various strategies. One of them was to periodically visit each rescuer and physically observe the amount of rescues that they are able to house and rehabilitate, and based on that update the distribution list systematically. This idea would mean that everyone receives exactly what they need, no more and no less, and it also means that we could potentially expand our food distribution network enormously.
Another idea on the table was to ask if those people who receive the food are available to help in any of our programmed activities, at a time most convenient to them, of course. The Board has agreed to explore these ideas, and other ideas, in order to streamline the process and achieve an improved and more comprehensive distribution. These adjustments are set to begin during the months of September and October, and if successful then they may become permanent.

What’s up, EduCan?
You will be pleased to hear that our EduCan Project continues to be well received within the communities. In collaboration with DIF (Community Development for Families, a government organization), we have booked this program in eight different communities since May of this year. You can find more information on this project and how it enables us to help at-risk communities here.

From 31… only six are left 
Update on the cockapoo hoarding case, and yes, you read right. Only six are left! If you are not familiar with the full story, you can read it here. Slowly but surely these pups have found wonderful homes. Granted, it has taken longer than initially anticipated, but helping them get a second chance at life makes it all worthwhile.
Many of HSTJ’s loyal volunteers such as Xindi, Adria, and Teresa, just to name a few... have invested countless hours and driven immeasurable distances in order to do initial home visits, and follow up visits, on these pups in their new homes. Meet Valerie in this video, just one of the six wonderful cockapoos still waiting for their forever home.

How can we truly measure success? When local adopters are not only willing, but also capable, of properly caring for their new addition. Or as one volunteer puts it, “We developed [the interviews] because want them to ask as many questions as they like, to get all their doubts and hesitations out in the open so we can fill in the gaps and tell them what to expect. Only then can we discover if this will really be a good match.”
As soon as they are all adopted, HSTJ will prepare a slideshow of all of them in their new homes. Few are aware of this, but there really are lots of excellent homes right here in Tijuana. Cases like this one prove it. A big thank you to all who have participated in making this possible.

Fighting a courageous battle until the very end
We finish our report by sharing a story that must be told. Alika the basset hound lived to be nine years old, and her life teaches us a valuable lesson about senior dogs. We invite you to read her story here.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Alika the Basset Hound & the Lesson she left us

Alika was rescued at 2 years of age. Sarai Garcia and her husband would always see her walking up and down the street, but they thought, "She must have an owner. A Basset Hound can't be living on the streets, can it?" As time went by, the couple noticed she was getting thinner and thinner, and she looked very dirty, so they decided to rescue her.

The next morning they found her foraging for food along a nearby street. As they tried to put a leash around her, she kept running away from them, so they chased after her. But when they got too close to a main road they desisted, fearing she would run into traffic and be hurt by an oncoming vehicle. They walked home, and as they looked behind them, there she was, wagging her tail at them! They named her Alika.

After she put on some weight they were planning to give her up for adoption, as they always did with their rescues, but Alika was found to have Pyometra and had emergency surgery which went very well. They decided to give her sufficient time to recover, but some time after that, she was discovered to have heart murmurs.

As time sped ahead Alika's rescuer, Sarai, had a baby and the family decided to keep their remaining rescues. That was how Alika and four other pups rescued off the streets became the Garcia family's permanent pets. In what felt like the blink of an eye, that 2 year-old Basset Hound turned 9 years old. She suddenly became ill, and despite many attempts, she did not survive her surgery. What had happened? Can we learn anything from it?

Splenomegaly  refers to the enlargement of the spleen. This medical condition can occur in all breeds and genders. 
Although in many cases it can be asymptomatic, an enlarged spleen may lead to such symptoms as:
Lack of appetite
Abdominal pain
Lethargy and reduced activity
Weakness and even collapse

A variety of things are known to cause an enlarged spleen including an abdominal injury, canine hepatitis, infectious disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, bacterial infection, cell tumors of the spleen, and other immune disorders. In Alika’s case a large cell tumor had damaged the spleen, causing it to become greatly enlarged.
Upon examination, a prominent spleen or a protruding abdomen can sometimes be noticed. An ultrasound was used to view Alika's spleen and surrounding areas. In addition to imaging, blood work tests were administered.
Although each case is different, in severe cases such as this one, the only option was to surgically remove the spleen. (splenectomy)
Living and Management
Usually, when the spleen is removed dogs will require rehabilitation to heal properly; and activity is restricted.
There are currently no known preventative measures for an enlarged spleen.

Alika leaves behind her the legacy of a genuine survivor from the streets of Tijuana. 
Alika lived seven wonderful years under the loving care of the Garcia family. Although it is true that she was growing older, this disease progressed rapidly. Her rescuer and owner, Sarai Garcia relates, “It all happened so fast. She seemed healthy, as did the other dogs, but one Monday she began to vomit, lost her appetite, appeared weak and slept excessively. I thought she might have a stomachache or maybe an infection. The other dogs were fine, so I wondered… On Tuesday these symptoms were worse, so Wednesday morning we took her to the HSTJ Center where she was admitted. I had heard from a friend about this place, but now I was going to see it for myself. I met Dr. Angel Hernandez and really liked the way he cared for Alika. He always showed consideration for her because she was an older dog. He quickly discovered what was wrong, and over the next few days, as the tumor grew larger, he insisted that we try and remove it.”

Several dogs were brought in by fellow rescuers in case Alika needed a transfusion. Sadly, the tumor had spread, the spleen had ruptured, and Alika did not make it through the surgery. The family was devastated. Sarai continues, “I would definitely return to the HSTJ Center. I am not new to this scene, as I was an animal rescuer for many years before my circumstances changed. I know that everything possible was done in order to help Alika, and I am grateful for that. The vet told me that if we had caught this just one month ago, her possibilities of surviving would have been much better. I want to share her life because I learned so much from it and from her.”

Alika was a very strong dog who had been through so much. She started growing old, and when she faced this, she just couldn’t hold on any longer. Her life teaches us an important lesson: older dogs require frequent checkups and regular tests in order to prolong their health, much as older humans do too. If you are the happy owner of an older dog or cat, please be sure to schedule regular checkups for them. In many cases, when something such as this is caught early, there is enough time to help.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Muscular reconstruction, tumor removals, a bustling Spay-Neuter Campaign, exciting Adoption Events, and to top it all off, a hoarding case that deeply touched the hearts of many. These are just some of the highlights from HSTJ's activities and events during July. We invite you to read this month's report.

On July 26th, the monthly Spay/Neuter Campaign was held in colonia Nueva Aurora. Their community benefited from the comprehensive EduCan Project which included workshops with kids and adults, as well as three "Itchy-Scratchy Street-Clinics", prior to the S/N campaign. 



***Can you help?***
We welcome volunteers to assist in this, and all of our other activities. There is always plenty to do and all help is greatly appreciated. If you would like to volunteer at a future event, please do not hesitate to contact us. In most cases, transportation into Mexico and back to the U.S. is provided by us.
And if you are a licensed veterinarian and would consider dedicating one full Sunday to perform cat/dog sterilizations in Tijuana, that would be fantastic too!

Volunteers Coordinator:

The HSTJ Center saw a tremendous increase in traffic!

The HSTJ Center is a low-cost veterinary clinic for rescuers and families with little means. All of the services offered are subsidized by us. Click on the link if you want to learn more about this facility.

HSTJ Center - Stats for July 2015
 TOTAL: 83 cats and dogs sterilized

Other cats and dogs required special procedures or surgeries this month. Some of those were:

This girl was just rescued off the streets
 with a severe case of mange.
With proper care and treatment, she will
soon make a full recovery.
This kitten was found and
brought to the HSTJ Center.
Through social media, we located
another rescuer with a mom cat and
her litter. She has become a fine
 surrogate for this little one.
The attending vet at the HSTJ Center, Dr. Angel Hernandez,  also saw and treated many routine cases such as: flea/tick infestations, stomach illnesses, worms, eye infections, minor scrapes/bruises, skin infections (mange), etc. He also preformed ultrasounds for at-risk pregnant females and administered vaccinations.
...And remember, all of this is offered to rescuers and low-income families at a very low cost, and in many cases, completely free of cost. Month after month, it is evident that the HSTJ Center has certainly proven to be a wonderful resource.
Itchy-Scratchy Clinics

These events are scheduled weekly in different locations. We target the most impoverished areas of Tijuana, where people would otherwise not be able to afford something like this. Volunteers set up a small booth along the street and invite all the neighbors to bring their cats and dogs. The trained volunteers administer flea/tick repellent, a broad-spectrum deworming medication, vitamins, their eyes and ears are cleaned, nails are clipped, in some cases minor lesions are cleaned but in other cases owners are referred to the HSTJ Center for proper examination and treatment. All of this is a free service, but we do ask those with means to consider making a small donation. Many are so grateful for these events that they happily make whatever contribution they can.
NOTE: The services offered at these clinics will vary, depending on the materials we have on hand that week
Ultimately, making direct contact with residents is not only educational, but also the first step towards sparking their interest in sterilization. Also, this may be the first time that their animals have ever been evaluated or treated.

These clinics are rapidly becoming an integral part of our new EduCan Project.

During July the total animals treated at street clinics were 317 cats and dogs.
Nueva Aurora
La Morita
La Gloria
Lazaro Cardenas
Camino Verde
Adoption Events
During July we held 3 adoption events in San Diego and are happy to report that six of our wonderful rescues found their forever homes and were embraced by the warmth of their new family.

Thanks to Petco's continuous support, we happily conduct several adoption events every month. You are more than welcome to come out and meet some of our wonderful rescues that are absolutely ready for adoption. Or you can also visit our Petfinder profile, browse the pictures and learn more about our Adoption Protocol. A calendar of future events is on our Petfinder page.
Last month's dates were:
July 5th - Petco
8501 Fletcher Parkway, 
La Mesa, Ca
July 11th - Petco Unleashed
8011 University Avenue,
 La Mesa, Ca
July 26th - Petco 
10410 Friars Road, 
San Diego, Ca

Neglected and Abused Cockapoos
In mid July many of us were taken aback by a very sad hoarding case discovered in Tijuana. HSTJ was called in to help and immediately assessed the situation firsthand, then held a meeting to organize the best way we could help. The next day we rallied up our volunteers, allocated resources, and devoted much time to getting all 29 dogs in better shape (sadly, out of the original 31, two had to be immediately euthanized due to severe pain, illness and emaciation).
It was a tremendous group effort. On this occasion we had to work in conjunction with a local non-profit group and with Tijuana Animal Control.
One month after the cockapoos were initially rescued, we can report that almost half have been adopted, and the other half remain at the Tijuana Center for Animal Control. We are working very hard to find all of them permanent homes. Follow the link to read the full story.
TRANSLATION: Thanks to your DONATIONS of food
I was able to rescue Fifi and take him to the vet.
After being injured he lost one of his eyes,
but today he tells another story. He is healing
and we are rehabilitating him so that he will
once again trust in humans.
The Food Distribution Program
Thanks to you, Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana, for
your donations to Ms. Saralegui. She can continue with
her work as an independent rescuer. She expresses her
gratitude. Here she is receiving her dog food.
Thanks to the food donations that we receive on a weekly basis, we are able to support a network of rescuers with fresh dog and cat food. Together, they have a collective daily census of over 200 rescued cats and dogs that are being rehabilitated. Here are some rescuers expressing their gratitude on our Facebook page. [CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS]

To learn more about how we help Individual Rescuers follow this link.

Thank you for reading our monthly report.

To continuously provide these and many other programs year-round in Tijuana, we rely on people that want to volunteer or help in any other way. We welcome monetary donations that keep operations running, and we also welcome unopened bags of fresh dog/cat food, as well as grooming supplies, flea/tick treatment, and deworming medications.

To volunteer, please email our Volunteers Coordinator, Nicole:
For adoption information, please contact our Adoptions Coordinator, Vicky:
To donate, please visit our website

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sharing the love - MEXICAN RED CROSS

Back in February 2015, the Mexican Red Cross asked Humane Society de Tijuana for help in assuring that they can maintain their K-9 corps of four rescue dogs in good condition. They have a special need for quality dog food. HSTJ has been fortunate to date to have received enough food donations to supply the volunteer rescuers that HSTJ supports on a regular basis and can now assist the Mexican Red Cross [Cruz Roja] K-9 corps of rescue dogs. The Mexican Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization just like HSTJ.

The Cruz Roja K-SAR program is relatively new in Tijuana but the rescue dogs, Jose Felix, Flash, Antonio and Rex have already participated in a national rescue effort-the hurricane in the state of Tabasco and three local tragedies in the neighborhoods of Florido, Esperanza, and Los Pinos. Your continued donations to Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana will assure that we can continue to support Tijuana residents that rescue street animals as well as others needing help with animal care. 

Recently, on July 4th, 2015 the Mexican Red Cross invited HSTJ to the event that celebrated the end of this year's collection drive. The event was held at the Tijuana City Hall, and among other noteworthy guests present, was the Mayor of the City of Tijuana.
We were asked to provide information about a variety of topics such as proper care for pets, the benefits of sterilization, etc. In addition to that, we were asked to hand out one ton of dog food that was donated by Purina Mexico. We promoted the HSTJ Center and handed out 200+ flyers.