Saturday, November 17, 2007

How HSTJ Came to Know Sweet Chicharron

Last April, the HSTJ Street Clinic [Itchy-Scratchy Clinic] Team went to a wretchedly poor area of Tijuana to check out the neighboorhood to see if it might be possible to hold a street clinic in that area.

They found an old public building that they could use and where they could pitch the HSTJ tents. Roaming around the building were six street dogs, all with worms, mange and eye infections.
The team did not intend to hold a clinic that day, only to evaluate the site. However, they decided to treat as many of the strays around the building that they could catch since they had the supply boxes in the truck.

In just a few minutes and after treating only a few of the strays, there was a line of people with eighty [80] animals, none of which had ever received any type of medical care. Although short of staff, the two HSTJ volunteers stayed all day and treated the eighty animals.

Most of the animals were pets but some where abandoned street animals brought by sympathetic residents hoping to be able to help the animals.

Chicharron was one of the abandoned street dogs. He was brought to the clinic by a teenage boy accompanied by two other children.
When the children found out that we could treat Chicharron for worms, diarrhea, mange and eye infections, one of the kids went home to get the mother. The children's mother came to the clinic and after talking with her children, decided to adopt Chicharron.
He received two follow up visits at the subsequent Itchy-Scratchy clinics and was then brought to the HSTJ sterilization clinic a few months later and was neutered.

He is a happy little guy now and living with a caring family. As a result of the family's contact with HSTJ, they have taken a keen interest in teaching the neighbors about how to properly care for dogs and cats and the importance of having pets spayed and neutered at the HSTJ free and low cost clinics!

Another successful rescue!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Morita is featured on our website and is our "poster rescue" because she embodies all the aspects of a hard core street rescue and then some. Morita was seen darting between buildings and cars in one of Tijuana's more upscale neighborhoods. She was desperately trying to avoid human contact because, as is often the custom in Mexico, she was being shooed away by people throwing stones or water to keep her away from their homes. She was completely covered with mange, had open draining sores, starved, frightened and to make matters worse, looked like she had recently given birth.

Above: Morita the first day we saw her. Photo taken from a distance.
Above: Morita one week after we started treatment in the vacant lot.

We followed her to a hole in a dirty vacant lot where she was hiding. We left food, water, cardboard box with bedding and observed her from a distance. As soon as we were sure was able to eat without problems, we started stuffing food with de-worming and anti-mange medicines and gradually adding antibiotics. We didn't see any pups in spite of a search of the surrounding areas. After a week she let us come to her and touch her. We did not want to capture her at this time since we had no place to put her. All of our rescuers, as usual, already had full compliments of animals in their homes and Morita needed to be quarantined too. So, as is our practice and with little money, no shelter but lots of will power, we cared for her daily at the vacant lot hoping that she would improve enough so that someone would allow her to sleep on their patio until we could find a person to adopt her. After a week we saw some improvement and were continuing with the routine when Alejandro, the HSTJ rescuer , was confronted by a local resident, a wealthy Mexican plastic surgeon. He demanded that Alejandro stop doing rescues claiming that HSTJ's work was annoying him by attracting strays that were damaging his home. We tried to explain our work and the specific plan for Morita. That didn’t work. The surgeon called the police who detained Alejandro. What he and the police didn’t know was that Alejandro holds a law degree, is certified in Mexican law and is HSTJ's volunteer legal consultant. He had the upper hand quoting animal welfare regulations and legal procedures. The police were befuddled and decided not to follow through with the arrest.

The problem was solved for the moment but we knew we had to get Morita out of there as soon as possible to avoid her being beaten, stoned or poisoned. We didn’t want to involve the city pound as that would mean certain death. While the painful electrocutions at the pound have been suspended so long as we or our associates furnish humane drugs, even this more humane euthanasia was not what we wanted. We had to move quickly. Fortunately, a woman who was already caring for two rescues, offered to foster her even though the woman lives in an extremely modest home and barely has enough resources for her own family.

Three days later, I went to visit Morita to do a follow up visit. She greeted me with a lot of emotion. It brought tears to my eyes. That skinny, bald, wrinkled little sweetie came up to me with a squeaky toy in her mouth and then gave me a lick on the hand. Two months after her rescue, she was almost back to normal and was adopted by the sister of the woman who fostered her.

Above: Morita today with her new family.

Morita survived because people like you cared enough to help. Thank you.

Humane Society de Tijuana takes programs to Colonia Castillo

HSTJ held both a sterilization clinic and a street clinic in Colonia Castillo during November '07. Thanks to your support, HSTJ now takes programs to four Tijuana areas.

On November 4th, a Street Clinic Team visited a new area of Tijuana, Colonia Castillo. Thirty six animals were treated at the clinic and six more were treated in homes in the area, a remarkable turnout for a first day in a new colonia. The Street Clinic, also know as the Itchy-Scratchy Clinic, treated animals for parasites, mange, and minor infections and also educated the owners and rescuers about the need to spay and neuter animals. Owners were given food and vitamins to ready the animals for sterilization. Last month in Nueva Aurora, a repeat clinic was held in that extremely poor neighborhood and treated over 100 animals.

Colonia Castillo Street Clinic Photos 4 Nov 07

An HSTJ volunteer calms a patient.

Registration of animals
Receiving animals for treatments. HSTJ works out of tents and SUVs. This senior citizen got all dressed up to bring his dogs to us. One has already been spayed and is planning for the other.
This guy is getting some relief from the treatment. He was one of the calmer cats.

Treated for parasites, mange and eye infections and malnutrition.
A sad case: five pups abandoned at the clinic site.
Each treated and bathed.
Two were adopted by neighborhood people, One was adopted by an HSTJ volunteer and two are being fostered by another HSTJ volunteer until they can be adopted.
Spay and Neuter Clinic-Colonia Castillo 11 Nov.'07

Seven days after the Street Clinic, people brought 25 animals to spay and neuter, a remarkable turnout for only having a seven day presence in the colonia. Eighteen HSTJ volunteers from both Mexico and the San Diego area participated. Three Mexican veterinarians did the surgery.

Colonia Castillo Spay and Neuter Clinic Photos

First patient arrives in OR- The OR can handle up to four surgeries at one time.
Preparing to glove and start on another surgery. Three Mexican veterinarians did the surgery.
Preparing an animal for anesthesia.

Shaving and cleaning before surgery.
Processing the surgical instruments.
Recovery room area
Volunteers take a break. Volunteers brought food for the team.
More patients arrive in the recovery area.
A special area for cats in recovery.
HSTJ gets no government support and relies on its volunteers and supporters to provide these clinics. HSTJ cannot afford a private shelter so our volunteers must shelter rescues in their own homes. HSTJ helps over 30 rescuers spread all over Tijuana, a city of 1.4 million people, by providing food, medications and education.

On any given day there are over 7000 abandoned, sick, starving and frightened animals living in the streets of Tijuana. You can help us help these animals by sending a donation and by passing this email on to others so that more people will know of the work being done here.

All donations to help the animals of Tijuana may be mailed to:
Humane Society de Tijuana*
641 E. San Ysidro Blvd. #B3-431
San Ysidro, CA 92173

Make checks payable to: Humane Society de Tijuana

*HSTJ has a 501 (c) (3) organization status pending in the USA. HSTJ's current Asociacion Civil [not-for-profit] Mexican tax ID number is : R.F.C. # HHS060901AY7

Monday, November 5, 2007


Please become a Friend of Humane Society de Tijuana by showing your support with a friendship bracelet!

All donations go to help the Animals of Tijuana and fund the continuance of our Sterilization Clinics and Itchy Scratchy Clinics

Remember, Animals Have No Nationality

For your donation of $3, you will receive one "Animals Have No Nationality" friendship bracelet as seen above. For your donation of $10 you will receive 4 friendship bracelets.

They make great gifts and stocking stuffers. Just contact me and I can either mail them to you or if you are local, deliver them to you.

Please visit our web site at

e-mail Michelle at

Find me on MySpace and be my friend!
Thank you in advance.

If you would like to help futher our cause, please make a donation today!

Checks coming from the USA: Make payable to Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana
Send donations to:
Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana
641 E. San Ysidro Blvd. #B3-431
San Ysidro, CA 92173

For more information about making a donation or becoming a volunteer:
In the USA, call 619-922-3394 or e-mail or

Here is what your donation can do!
** 2 dollars (20 pesos) can feed a large dog for a week!

** 50 dollars (500 pesos) is our average cost to treat and care for a "hard core" rescue.

** 20 dollars (200 pesos) helps us treat and place the average rescue in a new home.

We need you help to fund a free spay and neuter clinic for the people in the poorest areas of the city.

** 15 dollars (150 pesos) will pay for the materials and drugs to spay a cat or dog and save countless pups and kittens from being tossed into the streets where they will live in hunger, pain and fear.

We need your help to cure the diseases of our rescued animals.

** 30 dollars (300 pesos) will cure most cases of severe mange so a dog can be placed in a new home.

We need your help to feed the animals.

** 12 dollars (120 pesos) buys enough dry kitten or puppy replacement milk to hand feed a small litter for a week.

Every dollar/peso counts! No donation is too small to make a difference!


November 4, 2007 Itchy Scratchy Clinic in Castillo

This past Sunday we held our Itchy Scratchy Clinic in the town of Castillo, just outside the city center of Tijuana.

We treated 36 animals today and our hopes are that these pet owners spread the word and return with many more animals next week to our sterilization clinic which will be int he exact same location.

It is common to have such a small turn out on a first visit to an area, but once the word is out in the neighborhood, more people with show.

We treated Dogs of all sizes, as well as a couple of Cats.

This young dog in particular had a slight case of mange. We treated her with some Ivormectin. Hopefully her owner will bring her bag next week to be sterilized and we will see an improvement in her skin.

As you can see, the animals in Castillo are in a much better condition than those in Aurora Nuevo and that is because the town of castillo is much more civilized. The roads are paved, there are no visibly open sewers and the people are a little wealthier. Regardless, these animals were sill in need of treatment and I think the clinic was an overall success.
Around noon, a local man brought to us a box with 5 flea infested 6 week old Chihuahua mix puppies.
They were irresistible and so fragile. Seeing the fleas crawl all over them was heartbreaking. I immediately took the box and agreed to keep them. Unfortunately before we were able to secure the puppies, they took the 2 males from the litter. We were left with the 3 females.

We treated all three females for worms and we lovingly bathed each one and hand picked all of the fleas from them. There were literally hundreds of fleas crawling all over their little bodies. A local vet donated her time to us and inspected the pups and gave a clean bill of health.

Needless to say, I have a new addition to my family.

Please meet Olive a.k.a. Olivita

Lety, another volunteer took the other two pups. These were three very lucky little chihuahuas- we just hope their brothers will find a fortunate fate as well. Our thoughts and prayers will be with them.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

October 20, 2007 Itchy Scratchy Clinic

The Humane Society de Tijuana conducts a bi-monthly itchy scratchy clinic in the neighborhoods of Tijuana, Mexico.

A mash style clinic is set up in an empty building and the community brings their animals to be treated for parasites, mange, eye infections and other various skin conditions.

There is no fee for the treatment of animals although we do request a donation and if the participants are able, they may drop a few pesos. All supplies are purchased with monetary donations or are donated out right.

On October 20, 2007, we returned to the poor neighborhood of Nueva Aurora, Tijuana. This was HSTJ's 2nd Itchy Scratchy Clinic and back in August, they held a sterilization clinic here.

You must understand that the conditions the people of Nueva Aurora live in are not the best. Homes are dilapidated and often patched by random pieces of plywood and fencing. Many families share a one room structure. The roads are unpaved and not up kept. The winds just spread the dust and dirt from the road upon the entire community.

As you enter the town you can see that an open sewer runs down the side of the road.

Children play around these sewers and unfortunately animals drink from the dirty running water.

Although this was my first time visiting Nueva Aurora, the repeat volunteers noticed a considerable difference in the health of the animals being brought to the clinic, that their conditions appeared to have improved.

Most of the animals were brought to the clinic by children, you can see as they lovingly clutch their puppies and dogs, bringing them to our clinic because they care about their well being.

One thing that really stuck out in my mind was how communal all of the dogs were. There must have been over 60 dogs at one time with their owners waiting in line to be treated at the clinic and very few fights or barking attacks broke out.

There were many unfixed males and either pregnant females or females that visibly had recently given birth. We urged their owners to bring their pets to one of our sterilization clinics.
Throughout the day we did see a couple of strays that were in the most wretched of conditions. These were the dogs that were too sick to be taken in by the community. We were able to coax the animals to eat some wet dog food with Ivermectin in it to treat their mange and parasites. Our hopes are for these animals to take to the medicine so that they may become more nourished and that the community will see it as a healthy animal and not fear it will infect their children or home.
This is the hardest part of these clinics, but also what motivates me to continue our work - again hopefully when we return to Nueva Aurora we will meet these two dogs again and they will be in much better shape.
Because of your generosity we are able to continue our efforts in helping the animals of Tijuana by controlling the spread of parasites and disease and most importantly the uncontrolled breeding which occurs. We were able to treat 126 animals today! We look forward to helping many many more.

Thanks, Michelle
For more photos, please click this link to be directed to kodak gallery: