A 'flight parent' and one of the Backstreet dogs arrive in Canada. A 'flight parent' and one of the Backstreet dogs arrive in Canada.

Puebla organization ‘lends a paw’ to dogs

Backstreet Dogs rescues street dogs, ships them to new owners in Canada

Some Mexican street dogs are getting a second chance at life in Canada thanks to the efforts of two women in Puebla.

Since Leticia Thoma and Gabiria Abdalá founded the non-governmental organization Backstreet Dogs in the city of Puebla in 2015 they have rescued over 350 dogs from the streets and situations of abuse.

Since the beginning, Backstreet Dogs’ goal was to find adoptive homes for the dogs abroad. The organization started by forging alliances with German counterparts, but it currently sends canines to an assortment of Canadian NGOs.

Thoma told the news agency Notimex that her concern for the well-being of animals started as a child, when she accompanied her father to his work at an abattoir.

“I think that my love for animals started there, and now I’ve been rescuing dogs for more than 15 years,” she said.

In Backstreet Dogs, Thoma, Abdalá and their team of volunteers rescue dogs from the streets, wash them and give them all their shots in preparation for the trip north to a better life.

In Mexico City alone, Thoma explained, “there are 1.5 million dogs suffering from abuse,” while in the city of Puebla more than 16,000 dogs are killed every year.

To transport the animals, the organization recruits “flight parents,” as they call travelers going to Canada, to take the dogs with them.

Backstreet Dogs and its associate Canadian organizations cover all transportation and customs fees.

The Mexican NGO also has gained the collaboration of airlines, which allow a larger number of dogs per passenger or reduce their fares.

On one recent trip, Fernando Toro was the flight parent of four dogs, while Velia Romo and Susana Roque took 10, the maximum allowed.

In another case, a mother and her son took seven dogs. One, called Frijolito, or little bean, was welcomed by his new owners at the airport.

“He’s an adorable dog, this is the first time we have joined this cause . . . a really nice effort,” said the dog’s proud new owners.

Jessica was another new dog owner. “I decided to adopt a Mexican dog and give it a better life. I’ll now take her home and introduce her to my family,” she said, adding that she was looking forward to letting the dog play in the snow for the first time.

“All these doggies were rescued from the streets, from abuse and from agony. They’ll now live in Canada where they’ll have a better life,” Thoma said.

Source: 20 Minutos (sp)

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