As you all know from past stories and blogs, I am a volunteer for dog rescue groups in the USA and Mexico. In Mexico I volunteer at spay/neuter clinics, with CANDI International, and local rescue groups.
The purpose of our mission is to reduce the number of dogs born into the streets to a life of pain and suffering and to teach the Mexican people about sterilization and humane treatment of animals. I just returned from another clinic in January 2012, this was a successful clinic sterilizing 852 dogs and cats.
However, this clinic was different and one experience that would change me forever. On one of the last days that we were there a little dog was rushed into the clinic in desperate need of medical treatment, she was covered in blood she had a huge gaping cut into her skull and down across her eye. She had been brutally attacked by her owner’s husband with a machete, and it did not look good for her.
But a local veterinarian who volunteers at the clinics, Dr Pepe Vega stepped up and did emergency surgery on her, after three very long unpredictable hours the little girl was brought into the recovery area. After being cleaned up, there was a beautiful blonde Cocker Spaniel with one less eye and a huge line of stitches running down her head. She was groggy, waking up and already wagging her tail!
And so began the journey and change of fate for the dog that everyone was calling the Machete dog (now named Hule; pronounced oo-lay, which means rubber in Spanish) because she bounced back so fast after her injuries.
Hule's life was saved by Dr Pepe Vega, he truly is her hero. Dr. Vega is a highly skilled veterinarian who volunteers his free time to the clinics and to local animal rescue groups in Mexico. Hule was also cared for by Dr. Vega for a few days so he could keep an eye on her injuries and recovery, after he was confident that she was well enough to be released Hule went to a local foster home.
Congratulations Dr. Pepe Vega for a job well done! Hule needed a neurological evaluation and had to get to Toronto where a family stepped up to get her the care she required. Hule was flown into Toronto and she is now in her final home.
Hule even had a professional photo shoot and has been on Global News in Toronto! She is a bright little shining star of hope to all the dogs out there that are living on the streets, suffering abuse, neglect and want to be rescued.
To see her TV appearance, go to candiinternational.org. You can also see her photo shoot here.
People have asked me – why do you go to another country to rescue dogs, don’t we have enough homeless dogs of our own? It is simple answer; a dog does not choose its birthplace, I help all dogs – everywhere – and I do not discriminate.
We live in a country where animals already have and are gaining more protection and laws against animal abuse. Some of these state laws come with huge fines and jail time but we still have a lot of work that needs to be done. Some states are still practicing inhumane treatment in shelters and are using horrific methods of euthanizing animals.
Animal abuse is everywhere in the world and we all need to step up and do our part in changing this. I volunteer in Mexico, a country that does not have any laws against abusing a dog, they poison dogs, run them over, kick them when they walk by just because they can. In addition, they suffer disease on the streets and need medical attention that we try to provide to them when we are there, along with local rescue groups.
The shelters in Mexico electrocute dogs to kill them. This horrific practice is not only slow and painful, but it is also done with makeshift equipment and in horrific conditions. The dogs are then thrown into an incinerator to dispose of their innocent little bodies.
There is so much poverty in Mexico and people do not have time to volunteer at a local shelter to help dogs. The people in Mexico work every hour that they can to survive and the people that do own dogs there love their dogs. They do the best they can to care for them and I see this first hand when they bring their dogs to the free sterilization clinics; they are there because they do not want more puppies to be born, and they want to get the help and medications to keep their dogs healthy.
A dog does not understand location, poverty and lack of education, but I do and I want to do everything in my power to help bring an end to the abuse of DOGS wherever I am able to reach!
I have seen so many horrific acts of cruelty, they have kept me up at night. But I have also seen so much charity and love in dog rescue and sometimes the saddest stories have the happiest endings. Hule may be living with one eye and a huge scar but she is living with more love than she has ever known or could ever dream of, with a family that loves her and will care for her for the rest of her life!
Hule also had a canine sibling that was removed from the home and is in a new permanent home in the USA as a result of CANDI International and their never-ending efforts of dog rescue in Mexico. I am proud to be a volunteer with this group.
CANDI is always looking for corporate sponsors. Each clinic is funded by a specific group or corporation and without them we cannot have these clinics to save so many lives. In addition, without the help of the veterinarians, vet techs and volunteers, CANDI would not be able to have such fantastic outcomes from these clinics. So a great big thank you to everyone!
Please consider supporting a clinic in Mexico. You can e mail me at GGGirl24@aol.com and I will help you make it happen and connect you to the founder of CANDI!
Please save a life and adopt a dog from a rescue group.
Photos of Hule are courtesy of and with permission from Dr Pepe Vega and Gotcha Photo Studio ©
Copyright 2012 Gina Mastrogiovanni