Saturday

Edgardo Perros is walking the entire perimeter of Mexico while pushing a trolley with dogs and helps those in need along the way. “No one helps dogs living homeless on the roads. This is where I saw their pain,” said 49-year-old Edgardo

Edgardo Zuñiga Juarez, also known as Edgardo Perros, is Mexico’s benevolent pied piper of pooches. For the past six years, Edgardo, dubbed the “Savior of Dogs,” has traveled across his country with a bevy of canines he’s nursed back to health from hunger, injury and illness — all on a makeshift buggy.

He told photographer Stuart Williams that he’s rescued and re-homed nearly 500 furry friends during his 14,000-kilometer journey.

“No one helps dogs living homeless on the road,” 49-year-old Edgardo told the photographer. “This is where I saw their pain.”

“I was inspired by others who worked for animal rights,” he said in a video shot by Williams, “before the laws against animal abuse even existed.”

Edgardo started his journey in Bucerias, a small town near Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s central-Pacific coast. From there, he headed north up the coast, then down and back up the Baja peninsula; through Tijuana on the California border; traversed the border with the US; and turned at Reynosa down toward the Yucatan. After passing by Belize and Guatemala, Williams met the rescuer in Oaxaca.


Once Edgardo reaches his goal distance, he and three dogs of his own, who have been by his side since the beginning, will settle down somewhere. His loyal companions, Chilletas, Blanco and Negro, serve as the group’s elder animals, “[teaching] the others to be calmer.”

He roams with an eclectic pack, Edgardo explained in the eight-minute documentary: Golden-haired Patueleco, for example, suffers from dysplasia and “swimmers syndrome,” meaning he does not have functional knees, “but he lives well,” he said. “He has traveled a lot” in three years with his master.


Once his dogs are rehabilitated, they’re also given vaccines and spayed or neutered so that they are adoption-ready, such as the three-legged Sin Pata, who was picked up a year ago at the Guatemalen border, or Kiwi from Chiapas, who had a bad skin condition before Edgardo treated him. Enzo, one of the newest members of the crew, had to have his leg amputated after a local vet determined he had a bone infection.


“He was in a terrible state,” said the dog whisperer. “Double fracture — one in the shoulder and one in the femur.” Once healed, Enzo would begin therapy with the dog healer.

For the pups he couldn’t save, he’s given them them a death with dignity — laying by their side until they passed.

“Usually, I just keep them company, until in a natural way, they rest,” he said.


Edgardo, who camps outside with these dogs, said he has “the strength to keep going because there are always people that help us,” such as vets and animal advocates. He accepts donation via PayPal, and also has a Facebook page to allow fans and contributors to follow their journey.

“I think that what someone in this situation needs, no matter if a person or animal, is some company and even a little bit of love,” said Edgardo. Once this mission is completed, he said he and his three pups might settle near Mexico City, “a place full of animals and abuse,” where he’ll make a difference in even more dogs’ lives.


He said he’ll need a lot more help to continue this work, and to change cultural attitudes “in favor of the animals and the environment.”

He added, “I hope the younger generation will continue with this.”
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