Saturday, November 28, 2015

Holiday Newsletter 2015 - PRESIDENT'S END OF THE YEAR REPORT

November 2015

Dear Friend of the Humane Society de Tijuana:

As the 2015 calendar year closes we take this opportunity to share our successes and the immediate, urgent challenges as well. During the past year we were able to expand the types of veterinary services offered at the HSTJ Center and, as expected, it resulted in many more pleas for assistance.  As of now, no one has been turned down. You can read some of these stories right here on our blog.

Last year also saw a tremendous increase in spays and neuters as well as animals treated at the street clinics, bringing the year’s total to 5,886 cats and dogs! Added to that, were all the animals benefiting from our food distribution programs and the rehabilitation/adoption programs.

Another major accomplishment was the development of a public education program, EduCan, which has gained recognition from the municipal government of the City of Tijuana.

On another positive note, we had an unexpected negative situation in October actually turn into something very positive. The building we rented for the HSTJ Center changed hands and our lease was not renewed in September. We were able to lease another location, and while we incurred large moving expenses due to the equipment transportation and a 15% increase in rent, the new location has proved to be ideal. 

The reality is that due to our program successes, the demands for such have far exceeded our budget to provide them, and will soon deplete current funds. Without additional support, we will not be able to continue this increased level of service to the animals of our rescuers and low income public.
We are sending you this urgent plea because we cannot allow ourselves to deny services to any animal that needs it. Please keep in mind that there are an estimated 10,000 animals living on the streets of  Tijuana on any given day and they need help. HELP US MAINTAIN OUR CURRENT LEVEL OF SUPPORT FOR THESE  DESERVING  ANIMALS.

FHSTJ & HSTJ receive no government support and continue with an all volunteer staff except for a part time program coordinator. No officer or board member receives monetary compensation. The compensation comes from seeing happy and healthy animals. We depend on your generosity to continue rescuing abandoned and abused animals and saving them from a life of starvation,    disease, pain and fear.


You can do so by visiting and clicking on the donation page, or you can mail your contribution to:

Friends of HSTJ
641 E. San Ysidro Blvd. #B3-431
San Ysidro, CA 92173

On behalf of the animals and the dedicated staff of FHSTJ & HSTJ, I offer a sincere thank you.

Richard Massa
President, Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana


This is Hope, a stray that undoubtedly lived her whole life on the streets.
One tragic morning a car ran her over, fracturing her skull. A woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, was passing by and saw everything. Heartbroken, she walked over intending to get the dead pup off of the road. When she picked her up she noticed the dog was breathing. Incredibly, she was still alive! The woman exclaimed, "Todavia hay Esperanza!" (There is still Hope!)

Right then and there she named the dog Hope (Esperanza) and immediately sought a ride to the nearest vet.

One of her friends owned a vehicle and offered to bring her to the HSTJ Center. Wasting no time, they loaded up Hope and headed straight for the Center, where Dr. Angel worked for many hours trying to fix her shattered skull. Despite his valiant efforts, Hope finally let her spirit go.

This story shows the great lengths that our vets and volunteers go through to save lives. Unfortunately, due to a lack of equipment, neurologic and orthopedic cases like this one present a real challenge. If we had a sophisticated orthopedic drill set up we could’ve handled this, but right now we regret that our budget does not permit us to buy this equipment. It’s a miracle we’re saving as many lives as we are with basic tools.

If it is your desire to help us purchase something specific that is urgently needed at the HSTJ Center, please contact the President of the Board of Directors for Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana:

Richard Massa
(619) 922-3394

Purrfectly Patient

This story begins early one morning in August, 2015. Mrs. Zamora, an individual rescuer, was up early feeding her rescued cats, when a stray cat came towards her, meowing loudly. Mrs. Zamora had never seen this cat before, but her instinct as an experienced rescuer told her that this cat was meowing due to pain. She picked her up gently and saw a huge lump on her side. She thought, “There is no way I can just feed her and leave her alone.” So she brought her in to the HSTJ Center thinking that perhaps it was a tumor.

Dr. Angel Hernandez, attending veterinarian at the HSTJ Center explained that the cat was a pregnant female with a hernia, and the lump was actually her intestines held in only by her skin. As she later discovered, someone had kicked the stray cat on her side and the impact ruptured her muscles, causing the painful hernia. Furthermore, the mommy cat was almost ready to have her babies and couldn’t be operated on until they were weaned. The vet recommended that she remain in a calm quiet area to avoid additional injuries.

 Mrs. Zamora named her MAMA and cared for her with love. Soon thereafter, MAMA delivered seven beautiful kittens. Mrs. Zamora could tell that MAMA’s pain was increasing as she continued nursing her kittens, and her health was visibly declining. As soon as the kittens could be weaned onto dry food, Mrs. Zamora took MAMA back to the HSTJ Center where her hernia was corrected and she was spayed.


Today MAMA shows no more signs of pain and has made a full recovery. She now lives with her rescuer, and incredible as it may seem, she is doing a great job looking after a litter of orphaned kittens that Mrs. Zamora recently rescued. By the way, all of MAMA's kittens were adopted by loving families.


September 2015 Report

During the month of September there was a lot of activity. Little did we know that at the end of this month we would be asked to move the HSTJ Center to a new location

For the month of September, the total sterilizations performed at the HSTJ Center were 95. (Not included in this total are many special procedures and surgeries that the vet also performed during September.) 
Here is the breakdown for the sterilizations:
16 female cats
5 male cats
41 female dogs
33 male dogs

These sterilizations contribute to reducing animal overpopulation and prevent thousands of undesired litters of puppies and kittens from being born into this world, having to live and die on the streets of Tijuana. 

Remember, almost half of people who bring their animals for treatment are individual rescuers who rescue and rehabilitate injured, sick or starving animals. And the rest of our patients belong to families with very little means that barely have enough to feed and clothe their families. Without free or low-cost services, most would never be able to afford veterinary treatment for their cherished pets, and would certainly not be able to pay for their sterilizations, resulting in litter after litter being born every year.

The "Itchy-Scratchy" Street Clinics for the month of September treated a total of 361 cats and dogs. 
Here are the stats for all four events:

1. DATE: September 6th, 2015
LOCATION: Rial San Francisco
CATS: 13
DOGS: 76

2. DATE: September 13th, 2015
LOCATION: Dorado Seccion 3
DOGS: 69

3. DATE: September 20th, 2015
LOCATION: Terrazas del Valle
DOGS: 84

4. DATE: September 27th, 2015
LOCATION: El Jibarito
CATS: 12
DOGS: 97


 The MASH Clinic for the month of September was held on September 20th, 2015 and volunteer veterinarians were able to spay or neuter 37 cats and dogs in just one day.

11 female cats

9 male cats

11 female dogs

6 male dogs



Additionally, Friends of HSTJ held two fantastic Adoption Events in San Diego. They were held on:

September 19th, 2015


September 26th, 2015

A very busy month, and as always, your generous donations are at work saving countless lives and making all of this possible. Thank you.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Moving the HSTJ Center

It has been said that the best things happen unexpectedly, and during these past three months it has proven to be oh-so-true.

The building that we rented for the HSTJ Center was originally a small house in the Buenos Aires colonia. This location was chosen because, among other things, it was close to some of the most impoverished parts of Tijuana. Namely, the "eastern part of Tijuana". 

With a lot of effort it was adapted into what most of you have come to know as the HSTJ Center, a facility that offers free/low-cost veterinary services for rescuers and families with little means. Thanks to your support, that small idea evolved into a hugely successful project, made evident by the increasing number of people being helped each and every month.

Since it opened its doors and treated its first animal in February 2014, this clinic became well known in the Tijuana community. Things were moving along as usual, and then, an unexpected change!

The building changed hands when our landlady passed away.  She was a young woman with a heart of gold and we will forever be grateful for her support in establishing the HSTJ Center. Some time after that, the new owner informed us at the end of September that our lease would not be renewed, meaning that we had 30 days to evacuate the building. We had to find a new location for our beloved Center... AND WE HAD TO MOVE FAST BECAUSE THE CLOCK WAS TICKING!!

Every one of our dear volunteers mobilized immediately, searching for a place that had a sound structure, was in an appropriate location, was near public transportation, was ideal for a veterinary clinic, and was in the same price range (rent), etc. It wasn't easy. Many drove around for hours and made dozens of phone calls looking for the right place. By mid-October time had passed very quickly and we still hadn't found a proper place to move into. Some began to worry.

Then, just in the nick of time, one of our volunteers stumbled onto what appeared to be the perfect place. It met all of the requirements that Board Members had agreed upon. Success! Moreover, our new landlady and her family were all animal lovers and rescuers themselves! They absolutely went above and beyond to accommodate us and help us get set up. A special thank you to Mrs. Rossy and her family! 

The space needed to be adapted as a veterinary clinic in order to function at the capacity we had in the original location and your donations helped us achieve this. This implied installing additional plumbing and electric fixtures, some divider walls, etc. Our Program Coordinator oversaw this project in order to make the most efficient use of funds possible. 

When we posted the news about the big move, Tijuana residents immediately helped us spread the word on social media. And people kept bringing their animals for treatments at Buenos Aires until the very last day --even on moving day the Center remained open until 4:00PM. 

Volunteers showed up to help us move on the evening of October 31st, 2015. Yes, on Halloween night. We are extremely grateful to have such a strong corps of dedicated volunteers and we value each and every one of them and appreciate whatever help each person is able to offer. We can't repeat that enough. 

The move didn't go as smoothly as planned, but with everyone's help, the job got done. Although we hired movers, our HSTJ truck stalled on the highway during the first trip and had to be towed away. Mrs. Leticia Coto, President of the Mexican organization, HSTJ, spearheaded the move and quickly spoke with volunteers who were more than willing to lend their personal vehicles to help move our equipment. A very special shout-out to Adria and Xindy for their pick-up trucks and to everyone else that helped us move! At the end of that night, all were exhausted but happy.

After some settling in, we officially opened our doors at the new location on November 4th, 2015 and we couldn't be happier. Of course, it goes without saying that we incurred in additional expenses, but we are confident that it is completely worth it when you think about how many animals will continue to benefit from the HSTJ Center on a daily basis.

The services offered at this facility are subsidized by Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana and we purchase surgical materials and medications on a weekly and monthly basis. Doctors offer their services and volunteers are always ready to help, but we need more donations in order to purchase materials and help even more animals. Please read some of the stories of animals that have received treatment at this Center, and if you decide that you would like to donate, please do not hesitate to do so. We depend on your generosity to keep the doors of this veterinary clinic open to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. 

Solecita (small sun)

This is Solecita, Spanish for "small sun". She is now around four months old. Solecita was found by an HSTJ Rescuer who was out walking his rescued dogs. The poor defenseless pup was huddled under some shrubs and peeked out when she saw the man walking his dogs. He called to her and she came right over wagging her little tail. At the time she was approximately 2 - 3 months old --still just a baby.

This man took her home with him, took her to the vet for a check-up, and put up "FOUND DOG" signs in the neighborhood, even posting it on social media. It has now been a little over a month since this tiny puppy was found, and since no one has claimed her, Solecita will be spayed next month and will be looking for her forever home.

If you are interested in meeting Solecita, please contact our Adoptions Coordinator, Vicky:


In late August and early September of this year there was a broadcast message networked to all rescue groups, shelter and other animal welfare organizations which contained a description of a woman who was allegedly contacting several rescues in the Burbank, CA area seeking to foster cats and small dogs, giving false or inconsistent information. It was believed that this was a "criminal" who sought to obtain these animals to use them as bait for dogfights.

Soon thereafter, this story was looked into by local authorities it was found to be a misunderstanding. Nonetheless, we took this opportunity to remind ourselves and other organizations working alongside us, that the disgusting practice of dogfighting continues to be a harsh reality in our society.

When someone decides to rescue an animal, that person invests time, energy and resources into rehabilitating that poor soul. The rescuer inevitably gets emotionally attached to that little animal and watches as it blossoms into its new personality. It is only natural for that person or family to want that rescued animal to find a loving forever home. For almost ten years now, Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana has maintained a high level of adoption protocols. Through these years we have placed hundreds of cats and dogs in forever homes. Perhaps even you who is reading this right now can proudly say that through our work you found a new member of your family. That gives us a profound sense of satisfaction, and even more reason to continue helping even more animals with the help of your donations.

It is always a good idea to be careful, especially when a potential foster or adopter appears evasive or provides false information. Yes, sometimes cases like this are just misunderstandings, but we believe that it is better to be safe than sorry.

The reality is that there are a lot more people being arrested for felonies related to dog fighting. Many use free dogs and cats to train fighting dogs, not only in Los Angeles, but all over the world. We believe that it is really important that all rescue people know where their dogs and cats are going when they decide to surrender them, and we repeatedly communicate this to those who work with us or alongside us.

On a significantly positive note, "the Los Angeles area has a new tip line -- 877-777-2585 -- allowing individuals in Los Angeles County to confidentially report incidents of dogfighting that they witness or suspect. Their incentive? A reward of up to $5,000 provided by the Humane Society of the United States in the event of an arrest or conviction as the result of a tip provided through the line, which launched on July 1." (SOURCE:

We will continue to support the cause to end dogfighting by doing all that is in our power to stop our rescues from falling prey to this disgusting practice that ultimately affects our society on so many levels.

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.

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.