Tica: Lost and Found Again

Story by Kerry Oldridge

As anyone who as been doing animal rescue for any length of time can tell you, everywhere you look an animal is in need of rescue. Certain areas, just south of the Mexican border, have so many homeless dogs, that people stop paying attention. When there are so many, only the most desperate stand out, and, fortunately for one little Chihuahua, someone finally paid attention to her suffering.

A woman living in an apartment building in Ensenada called 4 PAWS, an area animal rescue, to report an abandoned dog. She told 4 Paws that the people who had owned the dog (and who used to live in the building) moved away and left this dog behind, and the dog had been outside wandering around the area fending for herself for a very long time.

Little Tica had barely survived this long by eating any bit of food scrap that fell from trashcans around the apartment building, or what she found on the street. However, the woman caller told 4 PAWS that she did not think the little dog would last much longer. 4 Paws immediately drove to the address, found the dog outside the building, wrapped her in a blanket, and took her to a foster home for treatment.

Tica had a broken leg, a very painful eye infection, and mange so extensive that in some areas her skin was gone and her flesh exposed. Although she was only 2 years old when she was rescued, it was clear that she had already had many puppies, and, had recently given birth. Although the rescue volunteers searched for the puppies, sadly they were never found. It took months of treatment and care before little Tica would even lift her head.

She was not only near death due to the neglect and injures, but she was depressed and withdrawn. Tica eventually responded to her care, was ready to be spayed, and was taken to the spay and neuter clinic preformed by 4 PAWS, sponsored by UHA and a few other individual donors. She was then taken to Julie Meager in San Diego to complete her fostering, and post her for adoption.

Julie Meagher who has, over the years, fostered many rescued pups for both UHA and AAUS, decided that little Tica had in fact found her forever home. After many months of caring for her, Julie and her family decided that they wanted to adopt Tica. Julie said, “we want to make it up to her, to erase all the suffering she had to endure by giving her love and comfort each and every day.

“She may look like just another ordinary, little brown Chihuahua, but she is special,” Meagher said. “Tica is so very grateful; she is one of the most loving dogs we have met. All she want is to give and receive love, she fills our home with joy, and we feel lucky to have her.”

Although Tica’s condition was extreme, in Mexico, this is the typical condition of the homeless dogs, and sadly there are many thousands of dogs like her struggling to survive.

Every month, United Hope for Animals, (UHA), teams up with Animal Advocates of the United States, (AAUS), 4 Paws, and other individual sponsors, to hold a spay and neuter clinic in Tijuana, Ensenada and other areas in Baja, California. As well as offering this much needed service to pets owners that would otherwise not be able to afford it, the long standing relationship between UHA, AAUS and 4 PAWS also enables us to help owners find lost or stolen dogs, rescue abandon dogs, and ensure that they are spayed, neutered, and find safe, loving, permanent homes.

These clinics provide this very important service to the public, who would not otherwise be able to afford it, and as well, to local rescue groups working to help the abandon street dogs. Please help us get the abandon dogs and cats off the street, and into loving homes, and help us ensure that each pet is safely spayed and neutered. Together, with your help, we can end this tragic cycle of suffering.

Tica was one of the many fortunate recipients of the critical link between UHA, AAUS and 4 PAWS.