Success Stories
Morita's Story

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 HSTJ rescuer, was confronted by a local resident, a wealthy Mexican plastic surgeon. He
demanded that Alejandro stop doing rescues claiming that HSTJ'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 HSTJ'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.