Success Stories
Morita's Story
BEFORE
AFTER

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. We followed her to a hole in a dirty vacant lot
where she was hiding. We left food, water, a cardboard box with bedding and observed her from a distance. As
soon as we were sure she 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 FHSTJ rescuer, was confronted
by a local resident, a wealthy Mexican plastic surgeon. He demanded that Alejandro stop doing rescues
claiming that FHSTJ'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
FHSTJ'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.