Friday, August 12, 2011

The Story of Bianca, one of 23 Dogs Saved from the Hotel of Terror

Written by a dedicated volunteer with HSTJ, below is her account of a hoarding situation which Bianca and 22 other dogs came from. Bianca is currently up for adoption with HSTJ.

Read Bianca's story here:

In the summer of 2010 I decided to go to Tijuana and to be a volunteer with an animal protection group. The president of this group was an old man who seemed like a very good person and I started attending his meetings, at this point I did not visit the shelter yet, I had only a few hours to volunteer because I lived in San Diego, so I only went to the group meetings once a week, but at a certain point I wanted to visit the “shelter” as well as other volunteers and we were very suspicious when the president of this group was giving us all kinds of excuses to be able to avoid our visit to the shelter, then we decided to force the situation and we went to his home and pressured him to take us there.

There are no words to describe the situation of the furry angels in this place, it was the most horrible place I had ever seen in my life, all of us were shocked, confused, angry and sickened.

The place was divided in different areas, the front area was designated for the newcomers, and the second area was designated for the doggies who were there for a longer period of time, and so on…I was not brave enough to get to the last area of the property, I was very upset but I was also about to pass out due to the smell and suffering in that horrible place, but the other brave volunteers went all the way, and could not believe the conditions of the furry angels in the last cages.

The horrible man who proclaimed himself to be an animal protector was an evil man, who enjoyed torturing and killing animals in a horrible way, and all the donations and monetary help was used for his personal benefit.

We suddenly realized that we were in front of a criminal and we did not have the legal right to help these furry angels and get them out of there.

The man was extremely upset because we were questioning him, and we were going nowhere fighting him so we decided to pretend that everything was all right and that we believed all his lies. That day we stayed in this horrible place until dark trying to comfort, feed and give them a little help.

After knowing the shocking truth we decided to keep attending his meetings telling him that we were willing to help him and to get him donations, it was very hard to be in front of this criminal pretending that everything was well.

Thank God we asked for help to Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana and they helped us to organize the rescue plan, we convinced the sick man that we needed to go back to the “shelter” because we were going to make a list of the needs of the shelter as well as verify the number of doggies that needed to be spay/neutered. We had many sleepless nights and nightmares, just knowing that as many as 80 something animals were trap in hell, this was making us so sick, we were calling each other crying, sharing our emotions and frustration, but we knew we were making a plan to rescue them, this was the only way we could have some peace in those dark days.

Bianca was one of the doggies in this horrible situation, she had mange all over her body, she was completely under nourished and only God knows for how long she was suffering the abuse, we promised Bianca and all these angels we were coming back for them, I remember many of them looking at us and making a connection of love and hope, in those sad days we could not think of anything else but them.

After many attempts we got the green light to get into this horrible place again, but this time we had the support of Friends of HSTJ and we had with us a reporter from the most important newspaper of Tijuana, the reporter was pretending that he was another volunteer, we also had a very small camera to record the place.

We made a deal with the man to get a few doggies out of there because we explain to him that we were going to provide care for them, he believed that we were going to bring donations and his ambition helped us that day October 31, 2010.

We arrived early in the morning and the man let us alone for a while but he left 2 men and a woman keeping an eye on us, we started running inside of the place and we kept bringing doggies out of there without his permission, we could only get the ones that were placed in the first three sections of the property, in total 23 little ones were rescued that day, it was the saddest thing of our lives to leave behind many of them, but thank God we had the reporter with us and the video, right next day the whole story was in the news and the newspaper, many people were upset and they were pressuring the government to close down this place, and finally the place was closed and another group took more than 20 doggies and the rest unfortunately were euthanized, their condition was so severe that nothing could be done for them.

When the man saw the news and he realized that he was lied to, the crazy man was even crazier and he started to attack back, we had no idea that he was very well connected to government officials, bad and corrupt people just like him, he had all their support and at this point they knew our names our telephone numbers and our location, so the war with them started and we had to hide our little ones in the middle of nowhere, the little angels were as afraid as we were, but looking at their eyes gave us the strength to continue the difficult road ahead.

After many months of hard work, tears and frustration, many headaches and lessons our little ones started magically changing, most of them started smiling and showing their real personalities and wonderful hearts, it was awesome to witness this miracle.

There is no way we had made it this far without the help of Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana, this wonderful group is a true blessing for all of us, they support in every way little groups like ours, it is so wonderful to work hand by hand with them and see the miracles we witness so often, like Friends of HSTJ says “Animals have no nationality” and Mexicans and Americans are working together to make the difference in the lives of these innocent and wonderful creatures.

To support HSTJ's programs of rescue, education and sterilization, and to help dogs just like Bianca, please pledge just $5 a month by joining our Rescue 400 Club

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Where Are They Now? A Hoarding Case Re-Visited; Part Six, The Story of Sweet Sami

A little more than two years ago, HSTJ responded to a hoarding case, a man was found to be hoarding 157 dogs in two locations of Tijuana. (a link to the article is below). As a result of mass publicity and the help of rescue groups, 80% of these animals were adopted out. However, the conditions of the animals that remained were horrible. HSTJ arrived to conduct a street clinic on these remaining animals, but as volunteers started processing the animals and treating them, we slowly realized that we could not just leave them there, we had to do something. Within an hour, we had found a property where we could temporarily house the remaining dogs, a huge undertaking for an organization of such meager resources, but the volunteers were strong, resourceful and determined. I don't think we realized how much work would have to be put into this project but in the end it was well worth the blood, sweat and tears.

Read the full story here:

I have decided to re-visit this story and follow up with as many of the owners of the rescued hoarding dogs, so that their amazing stories can be shared and live on forever.

The Story of Sweet Sami

My sweet little Sami (formally known as Lola) was one of the many little angels rescued from a hoarding case in Tijuana a little over two years ago now. I ended up being the lucky one to adopt her with the thanks of my co-worker Joline, (who happened to be last months “Where are they now” feature story) who introduced me to this organization.

It started like this, Joline was going to the Solana Beach adoption event at Muttropolis put on by the Friends of the Humane Society de TJ to see about adopting a dog she had her eye on for quite some time. I was not actively looking for a four legged companion but I thought I would support her and it sounded like fun so I went with my 3 children. Little did I know how much that event would change my life and family size.

When we first arrived we saw Joline, her first dog Frigga and her son and girlfriend (they ended up adopting a dog at this event too). Joline had Frigga and Gypsy trying to see if they were a good match together, which they were and are now one big happy family.

After saying hello, I walked over to where the other dogs and cats were which were looking for a home. That is where I saw the most adorable, sweet faced, Beagle mix that just looked like she needed a hug. I asked about her and they told me her name was Lola. I was hooked after that, and so were the kids. We sat with her and pet her and tried to get her to relax a little. You can tell that she was very timid and hesitant about people and the crowd. It seemed that everyone who saw her just instantly fell in love with her but no one was adopting her. Well since I was not “actively looking” to get a dog I ended up dragging my begging and pleading kids away after a while and telling them that a dog is a big decision and I had to talk to Daddy about it so we could not get one today. Although on the inside it was killing me to walk away from “Lola”, but I told myself if it was meant to be then I will end up with her.

Well, it was meant to be and only a few days after that event, Lola who is now named Sami became apart of our family. At first it was hard to train her because she was so scared and timid of everything but today it is like looking at a whole different pooch. Sami has a best friend named Mandy (my moms’ dog) and we call them the Trouble Twosome when they are together. They love to play around with each other like they are sisters who have grown up all their lives together. It is a wonderful site to see and I feel blessed to have Sami in my life.

It goes to show you that even if you are not looking for a new addition to your family, you should still go out and support the efforts of wonderful programs like the FHSTJ. You never know, it just might change your life forever! Thanks to all of the wonderful helpers and volunteers of the Friends of the Humane Society de Tijuana. Without you, I would not have had the pleasure of little Sami in my life!

Take care- Jenn 

HSTJ's July 31, 2011 Spay & Neuter Clinic

HSTJ’s July 31, 2011 Spay/Neuter Clinic held in the Downtown TJ area was a success!! Thank you for all the much needed pee-pads. Also, a HUGE thank you to the Vets, volunteers, and all others whose support helped make this clinic possible. There was a great response from the people in the community, who brought cats and dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Here are the STATS:
•A TOTAL of 40 animals were seen* with 36 spayed/neutered
•10 cats (5 females, 5 males)
•26 dogs (20 females, 6 males)

* 2 female dogs were referred to an HSTJ-supporting Vet’s office, to be sterilized the following week. One female dog was seen for eye surgery by Dr. Gayle, and was not to be spayed, and one female cat wasn’t spayed because her pregnancy was too advanced.

Besides sterilizing these animals, the vets at this clinic also took care of several “special” cases. For example, one black dog had been bitten by another dog some time ago. He had wounds on his front and hind legs, on his face and along his back as well. The wounds were visibly infected and required further treatment in order to heal properly.

As you may gather from the pictures, several female dogs were pregnant, without the owners’ knowledge. Special post-op care was given. Their families were advised to keep a close watch on other un-sterilized family pets, in order to avoid the same incident.

On a curious note, all morning we could observe a medium-size brown dog who seemed much attached to his owner, a young boy, possibly in his teens. Once out of surgery, the dog was transported into the recovery area, and upon awaking, was so startled when he didn’t see his owner. He began to panic, so we had to bring in his owner, which immediately calmed the dog down. He patiently sat by his dog until he was discharged.

As always, cats and dogs in the recovery area receive complimentary treatments in the caring hands of HSTJ volunteers. These include everything from teeth cleaning, nail clipping, ear-mite treatment, ear cleaning, worm treatment, and very importantly: FLEA AND TICK TREATMENT.

In one picture, you may appreciate the dedication of our volunteers who slowly remove each and every tick from every nook and cranny on the animals’ body. Although time consuming, this gives the animals much needed relief from those blood-sucking, disease-carrying pests. Pet owners also receive prescribed antibiotics, vitamins, bags of pet food and all the instructions needed for follow-up care.

Thank you for your wonderful support, without which this would not be possibe! To see all of the pictures from the July 31st clinic, please visit

To Join HSTJ Rescue 400 Club by donating just $5 a month to help continue the spay and nueter and street clinics visit: