Dogs in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico — an incredibly mysterious town — don’t seem to be your typical happy-go-lucky pets. You know, the ones that get excited when you come home from work, or smother you with kisses when you cuddle in bed, or even the ones that bark until you take them out to pee. These dogs live on roofs and bark almost nonstop.
“These roof dogs spend much of their lives up there, surveying their territory from an advantageous perch,” writes photographer Russell Monk. “But great as the views are and as much as their height adds to their sense of superiority, they are not there by choice.”
Miracles do, indeed, happen. Just in time for the holidays, a Chihuahua who was reunited with her owner went viral because of the time it took for her to find her way back home: five years, specifically.
The Chihuahua, whose name is Sweet Pea, was discovered by the Humane Society on Tuesday afternoon in Covina–almost 30 miles away from her owner.
Sweet Pea went missing in Compton, California in 2015 and her owner, Ursula Lopez had long giver up hope of ever finding her. But a few days ago, Lopez received a call from the Inland Valley Humane Society that they had found Sweet Pea wandering around in Covina–almost 30 miles away.
The long-awaited reunion was captured on video by a local news station.
In the video, an animal handler brings out Sweet Pea as Lopez waits patiently on a nearby bench. Lopez appears to be emotional as Sweet Pea is brought closer to her. After the handler places Sweet Pea in Lopez’s arms, the reunion is complete.
When asked what it means to her to have Sweet Pea back, Lopez said: “It means the world to me.”
Sweet Pea was a little worse for the wear, looking a bit grey around her face, her nails long and haggard. But soon, the pup was packed into Lopez’s car, looking cozy and comfortable on a doggie bed.
Lopez’s parting words about Sweet Pea were truly heartwarming: “She’s ready to go home.” We bet she is.
The Inland Valley Humane Society was able to located Ursula Lopez because Sweet Pea had been microchipped.
Microchipping is a procedure in which a small radio-frequency transponder that is the size of a grain of rice is injected under the loose skin of your pet’s shoulder blades. Rescuers can locate a pet’s owner if the unique ID associated with the chip is registered in a national pet-recovery database.
Every year, roughly 10 million pets become lost from their owner. But if a pet is microchipped, they are approximately 50% more likely to be reunited with their owner.
We’re glad that Lopez has her doggie to snuggle up with during the holidays. We hope she holds on to her tight.
In some uplifting news, a Mexican man has gone viral for housing stray dogs in need of shelter before Hurricane Delta hit the Yucatan peninsula in early October. Ricardo Pimentel of Cancun, Mexico, wrote on Facebook that he had boarded up his home’s windows and was currently housing 300 rescue dogs before the storm hit.
As background, Hurricane Delta touched down in Cozumel and Cancun and was reported to have winds up to 110 mph. The storm caused power outages, fallen trees, and the destruction of buildings and businesses. Luckily, Pimentel decided to get creative when it came to protecting his helpless four-legged friends from the ravages of the outdoors.
Pimentel already owns an animal sanctuary called Tierra de Animales, but he decided to open up his home to the homeless dogs. Naturally, he need all the help he could get to take care of the canine creatures. He took to his Facebook page to ask for donations.
“If I lived alone or nothing else with about 10 or 20 dogs, I would not worry much,” wrote Pimentel on his Facebook page. “But here are hundreds of animals and we can not afford to not have enough food stored.” According to Pimentel, he was worried about there being food shortages at the grocery stores in the aftermath of the unpredictable storm.
The post was accompanied by a a jaw-dropping photo of Pimentel surrounded by a sea of dogs packed into his home. The call-to-action quickly took off and Pimentel was soon receiving thousands of dollars in donations.
At first, Pimentel was distracted by the storm and wasn’t initially aware of how deeply he touched people. When he finally saw how people had rallied to support him and his sanctuary, he was humbled.
“Your support at this time has been invaluable, we deeply appreciate all your messages, calls, and shows of affection,” he wrote on Facebook. “Thank you on behalf of all the animals in the sanctuary!”
According to Pimentel, many of the dogs he’s rescued on his sanctuary have been saved from dog-fighting rings and abusive homes where they’ve been badly beaten. He founded Tierra de Animales around 20 years ago as a place where dogs and other animals (including cats, bunnies, and sheep) can be safe and live a good life.
He says that his animals have been adopted by homes in Mexico, Canada and the United States. He hopes that the attention that the rescue dogs got from his viral post will encourage people to adopt them.
“We would like to think that thanks to all this attention, somebody would like to be part of the story and say: ‘I adopted a dog saved from that famous Hurricane Delta,” he told The Associated Press.