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Two Countries Partner to Help Stray Dogs

By Kristen Winn, May 2018, Updated June 2021
Photo courtesy Animalandia

Photo courtesy Animalandia

Since 2011, SOAR—Segunda Chansa (“Second Chance”) Oregon Animal Rescue—has been partnering shelters in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico, with shelters in Portland, Oregon, to expand adoption opportunities for abandoned dogs in the Loreto area.

To date, they have sent 248 dogs from Loreto to Portland, where they have all been successfully adopted.

Their partners in Loreto are Segunda Chansa, a private dog rescue and Animalandia, a spay and neuter clinic.

Along with their partners in Mexico, their shelter partners in Portland are Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals, Pixie Project, Family Dogs New Life and with transport help from Rescue Express from Eugene, Oregon and Alaska Airlines


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

SOAR donates $50 per dog to Rescue Express for the “bus trip” and $100 per dog to the receiving Oregon shelter as a “muchas gracias”.

Let’s follow one dogs as she goes from Loreto to Portland:

Meet Susie Q.

Susie Q., a seven year old female Chihuahua, was literally dumped at Animalandia the spay and neuter clinic in the town of Loreto.  Families who can no longer care for a dog often drop their animals over the fence during the night.

Every morning, volunteers arrive at the clinic to feed the resident dogs and cats.  If dogs have been dropped off in the night, they are isolated and given immunizations, as well as flea, tick and worm treatments.  Gradually, they become part of the “pack” as the search begins for a new home. 

Susie Q. was spayed by volunteer vets from the U.S. and fostered by a volunteer at Animalandia.

The owner of the local shelter took Susie Q. under his wings and she rode with him and five other dogs up to Southern California, across the Mexico-U.S. border.

Rescue Express picked up Susie Q. and the other dogs one morning in San Fernando, CA.  She was loaded in a crate with a handmade blanket and water and rode non-stop to her drop-off location in Portland, OR.  Volunteers met the bus in the early morning at the PetSmart parking lot.

That same morning, Susie Q. and her five bus-mates were dropped off at Family Dogs New Life Shelter in SE Portland.

Loreto dogs are gentle, loyal, calm and loving.  They are adopted quickly and are beloved by their new owners.  It is amazing to see 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, with plenty of food, toys, a soft place to sleep and long walks.

Susie Q.’s photograph and profile were posted on the Family Dogs New Life website on May 18.  She found her forever home in Portland on May 22, 2017.

There is a saying that “it takes a village.” In this case, “it takes two countries.”

For more information on SOAR and/or to make a donation to continue their efforts, please contact Kristen Winn (