Many people readily refer to themselves as dog lovers, but this one man will probably outrank all of them.
It was six years ago when Edgardo Zuniga Juarez made the fateful decision to combine his two greatest passions in life: traveling and dogs. He had always been fond of animals, particularly dogs, all his life, and traveling was also one of his favorite pastimes. So one day he packed up all his worldly belongings and gathered his pets, three dogs named Chilletas, Blanco, and Negro, and set out on a cross-country journey with the aim to help homeless and needy dogs along the way. He has become so well-known for his work rescuing dogs who have no homes or owners that he has gained a new nickname: Edgardo Perros, Mexico’s own Good Samaritan of pooches.
Edgardo Perros: Story of Mexico’s ‘Savior of Dogs’ Inspires Millions
Dubbed as the “Savior of Dogs” in his country, he has traveled all over with a pack of canines he has all saved from hunger, illness, or injury with nothing but a makeshift buggy and his three dogs for companions. In an interview with photographer Stuart Williams, who featured him in a documentary, Edgardo Perros has revealed that he has saved and found homes for a total of almost 500 dogs while also traveling over 14,000 thousand kilometers in his cross-country journey.
“No one helps dogs living homeless on the road,” Edgardo said in his statement to the photographer. “This is where I saw their pain. I was inspired by others who worked for animal rights before the laws against animal abuse even existed.”
He also explained that the canine pack he travels with is an eclectic lot. One of the dogs, for example, is a golden-haired one named Patueleco, who has the debilitating conditions dysplasia and “swimmers syndrome,” which means he cannot use his knees. “But he lives well and he has traveled a lot,” Edgardo said of Patulueco.
Once the dogs he takes in have been completely rehabilitated and he’s nursed them back to health, he has them vaccinated as well as spayed or neutered to prepare them for future adoption once he has found them a viable home. For the puppies he couldn’t help, he gives them the opportunity to die a dignified death—he just lies down by their side and keeps them company until they die naturally.
All this time, Edgardo has lived outdoors with his dogs, but he says his difficult work is made easier by the people who support him, such as his fellow animal advocates and professional vets. “I have the strength to keep going because there are always people that help us. I think that what someone needs in this situation, no matter if a person or animal, is some company and even a little bit of love.”
Edgardo has plans for what he’ll do once he considers his mission done: he and his three pet dogs would find a house and live near Mexico City, “a place full of animals and abuse,” where he intends to help out even more dogs who are in desperate need of love and care.
Watch the video below