Run For The Border

Sometimes dogs are better at it than people

There’s the saying that “it takes a village” but in the case of the Second Chance Oregon Animal Rescue (SOAR), it takes two countries.

Since 2011, SOAR has been partnering shelters in Loreto, with shelters in Portland, Oregon, to expand adoption opportunities for abandoned dogs in the Loreto area.

susieq.JPGTo date, the organization has transported 229 dogs from Loreto to Portland, where they have all been successfully adopted.

SOAR works with several shelters and animal organizations in Portland. In Loreta, SOAR partners with Segunda Chansa (Second Chance), a private dog rescue, and Animalandia, a spay and neuter clinic, in Loreta. They also have a transport partner, Rescue Express from Eugene, Oregon.

The Loreto dogs have been socialized to be gentle, loyal, calm and loving. They are adopted quickly and it is amazing to see how dogs who have been living on the streets in Mexico easily become accustomed to the good life in Portland. For animals that have not received a lot of love or care, it is a new beginning, one with plenty of food, toys, a soft place to sleep and long walks. Yes, they settle in to their luck very quickly.

One such dog is Susie Q., a seven-year-old female Chihuahua, was literally dumped at the Animalandia clinic. Many people pitch animals over the fence and into the shelter during the night, apparently believing these shelters have unlimited resources.

Because she was an unknown, volunteers at the clinic isolated her and gave her immunizations, as well as flea, tick and worm treatments. She was spayed by volunteer vets from the U.S. and fostered by a volunteer at Animalandia.

The honcho of the local shelter took Susie Q. under his wing and she rode up to the United States with her and five other dogs, crossing the border like they owned it. Cats and dogs cross into the States with no paperwork at all.

Rescue Express picked up Susie Q. and the other dogs in San Fernando, California. She was loaded in a crate together with a handmade blanket and some water and rode non-stop all the way to her drop-off location in Portland. Makes you wonder what she was thinking during all this. Volunteers met the bus in the early morning at a PetSmart parking lot, and then dropped off Susie Q. and her bus mates at the Family Dogs New Life Shelter in Portland.

Susie’s photograph and profile were posted on the Family Dogs New Life website on May 18 and she found her “fur-ever” home just four days later.

SOAR is funded 100% by donations and managed by volunteers. SOAR supporters foster dogs, provide car and air transport, and donate food and money for needs such as spaying, neutering, immunizations, and medical care. 

And as a way of saying thanks to their Oregon partners, SOAR donates $50 per dog to Rescue Express for the bus trip and $100 per dog to the receiving animal shelter for their expenses.

For more information on SOAR and/or to make a donation, contact Kristen Winn at