Would The Last Dog In Loreto Please Turn Out The Lights?

We’re almost down to our last dog
BY: KRISTIN WINN

Segunda Chansa (Second Chance) Oregon Animal Rescue has been partnering with shelters in Loreto to expand adoption opportunities for abandoned dogs. Loreto is a great little town about four hour’s drive north of here.

To date, they have sent no less than 229 dogs from Loreto to Portland, where they have all been successfully adopted.

Last year, more than 7,000 animals were transferred to the Oregon Humane Society, including pets who lost their homes during the Santa Barbara California wildfires and Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

In all, the Oregon Humane Society sucks up about 11,000 animals each year -- meaning most of the animals adopted from the Portland shelter didn’t originate there. About 98 percent of the animals do ultimately find homes. Two percent that are determined to be too aggressive or too sick -- and untreatable -- are euthanized, according to the organization.

Their partners in Loreto who sent them 229 dogs are Segunda Chansa, a private dog rescue, and Animalandia, a spay and neuter clinic (www.animalandiabcs.org).

Their shelter partners in Portland are Friends of Shelter Animals (www.ofosa.org), Pixie Project (www.pixieproject.org), and Family Dogs New Life (www.familydogsnewlife.org). Their transport partner is Rescue Express from Eugene, Oregon (www.rescueexpress.org).

SOAR is also involved. (Stray & Orphaned Animal Rescue) and is funded 100% by donations and managed by volunteers. Supporters foster dogs, provide car and air transport, and donate food and money for such needs as spaying, neutering, immunizations, and medical care. 

As a “muchas gracias” to their Oregon partners, SOAR donates $50 per dog to Rescue Express for the bus trip and $100 per dog to the receiving shelter.

Let’s follow one of the Loreto dogs as she goes from Loreto to Portland:

Meet Susie Q.

Susie Q., a seven year old female Chihuahua, was literally dumped at Animalandia the spay and neuter clinic in the town of Loreto.  Families who can no longer care for a dog often toss the animals over the fence during the night.

Every morning, volunteers arrive at the clinic to see what’s been pitched at them the night before, and to feed the resident dogs and cats.  The new overnight arrivals are isolated and given immunizations, as well as flea, tick and worm treatments.  Gradually, they become part of the pack as the search begins for a new home. 

Susie Q. was spayed by volunteer vets from the U.S. and fostered by a volunteer at Animalandia.

The owner of the local shelter took Susie Q. under his wings on the car trip to the border, when he packed her and five other dogs into his car. (That must be quite a sight at the rest stops, and where do you find a hotel with a family like that?)

Rescue Express picked up Susie Q. and the other dogs one morning in San Fernando, just north of Los Angeles.  She was loaded in a crate with her handmade donated blanket and a non tip over water bowl and she rode non-stop to her drop-off location in Portland, Oregon 15 hours north.  Volunteers met the bus in the pre-dawn hours at the PetSmart parking lot.

That same morning, Susie Q. and her five bus-mates were dropped off at Family Dogs New Life Shelter in South East Portland. Susie Q.’s photograph and profile were posted on the Family Dogs New Life website on May 18 and she found her forever home in Portland on May 22. That’s better than match.com does.

The Loreto dogs are socialized to be gentle, loyal, calm and loving.  They are adopted quickly and are beloved by their new owners.  It is amazing to see the dogs, who have been living on the streets of Mexico, easily become accustomed to the good life in Portland. Spanish to English is easy for them, as no! means no! in both languages. They learn the rules and how far they can push them, quickly.

For animals that have not received a lot of love or care, it is a new beginning, with plenty of food, toys, a soft place to sleep, and plenty of walks. The rain and the snow? They take it better than most of you would. That’s just a nice indoor nap day for them.

For more information on SOAR and/or to make a donation to continue their very successful efforts, you can contact Kristen Winn (kristenwinn@comcast.net).