“They go up to every car that passes by in hopes to find a home” ❤️️
Two starving, scared dogs living in a Brownsville, Texas, fast food restaurant parking lot had nowhere to go — until 18-year-old Destiny Vasquez spotted one of them, whipped out her cell phone and took a video.
“I was in the drive-thru, I saw one of the dogs and said, ‘Oh my gosh! This dog has no home,” Vasquez told The Dodo. “I was crying and crying. I called my mom, and I said, ‘Mom, I have to get this dog.’ I didn’t know there were two dogs at the time.”
Vasquez’s mom, Jessica Marin, who has saved many stray dogs from the streets of South Texas, sprang into action.
Marin drove to the restaurant and discovered there were two dogs living together in the parking lot. No one knew where they had come from. “I spoke to an employee who said the dogs had been here a long time,” Marin told The Dodo.
Marin took pictures of both dogs and sent the photos and her daughter’s video to Leslie Ysuhuaylas Hennings, who helps raise awareness for animals in need on social media.
Hennings posted about the dogs on Facebook and wrote, “They literally begged to be taken, but they weren’t. They go up to every car that passes by in hopes to find a home. It’s been weeks. Tonight it will be another night in the parking lot. It will be another night in the streets. These two only have each other and desperately need rescue together! Please help network them for rescue and foster!”
Hennings’ plea worked.
When Ana Teran, a volunteer for Animal Aid Brigade in Houston, saw the post, she was stunned. “As soon as I saw it, I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t let it go. I just said, ‘How can I get these dogs? If I have to rent a car, I will, to get them,’” Teran told The Dodo.
And that’s precisely what she did. Teran rented a car and drove for hours from her home in Houston to South Texas to pick them up. “I just knew they would be fine,” she said.
Meanwhile, Marin won the dogs’ trust, got them into her car and drove them to meet Teran. “I cried,” Marin said. “I called my daughter and said, ‘Guess what pups I got?’”
The moment Teran met the pair couldn’t have gone better.
“I was so excited to see them! They were just the cutest,” Teran said. “They wanted love so desperately. They were so friendly. They were not fearful or timid. They had big smiles; they were so excited. They had no idea what was going on, but they were so happy.”
Teran also picked up nine other stray dogs to bring back to the rescue in Houston. Once she got them all loaded in the car, she played music and talked to them the entire way home.
“I told them, ‘I want to show you life can be fun, and I want you to know everything will be fine,'” she said. “The pair fell asleep so soundly and relaxed for the first time in a very long time.”
Teran is now fostering the two dogs she worked so hard to save. “They are so bonded, they really stick together. Their demeanor is very sweet. They are always looking at every detail,” she said.
The dogs, both female, are estimated to be about a year old. Teran named them Patty and Pepper.
Animal Aid Brigade president and cofounder Valerie Johnson told The Dodo her rescue specializes in saving dogs from South Texas, where countless strays live on the streets.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” Johnson said. “You feel empathy for those animals that are clearly trying to get someone to help. It really rips your heart out, and you wonder, ‘How does this happen?’”
The rescue is begging for help saving animals in the area. The group has been trying to raise money for a spay-neuter vehicle to help make the procedures more accessible.
“We want the rest of the country to know what’s going on,” Johnson said. “To shine a light on the problem we have and get resources — even veterinarians who are willing to donate their time or travel down and donate a weekend. There aren’t enough foster homes. There aren’t enough adopters. There are not enough resources in these communities.”
Patty and Pepper will soon be up for adoption. It will be hard for Teran to see them go, but she knows there are hundreds more dogs who need her help.
“This is just the beginning of their journey and their adventures,” Teran said. “I’m just really excited for them.”
Vasquez is thrilled to have been the dogs’ lifeline. “I’m so happy. It feels so good to know they’re in good hands and off the street,” she said.