Rescued dogs from Mexico to find new homes in San Diego

Nearly two dozen dogs were rescued from Mexico and brought on Saturday to the Rancho Coastal Humane Society.
(Courtesy of Rancho Coastal Humane Society)

Effort is the latest in a series of lifesaving transports from Rescue Fenix and Rancho Coastal Humane Society


Rancho Coastal Humane Society took in 20 dogs including seven small puppies with their moms from the Mexican state of Sonora on Saturday morning, Dec. 5.

It was the latest in a series of lifesaving transports by the nonprofit Rescue Fenix/Rescate Fenix AC out of Obregon, working with the Rancho Coastal and Greater Good Charities.

The dogs were rescued from the streets and taken to the Rescue Fenix shelter, Rancho Coastal Humane Society spokesman John Van Zante said.

The dogs mostly live in outdoor “colony kennels” where pups and smaller dogs compete for food with other dogs.

“Many of them would not survive if they were not taken in by Rescue Fenix then transferred out of there,” Van Zante said.

The dogs began their 17-hour ride to Tijuana early Friday morning, Dec. 4. They crossed the border early Saturday, Dec. 5, then got some rest at the home of a Rescue Fenix volunteer in Escondido. The dogs were then transferred to Rancho Coastal in Encinitas with Rescue Fenix volunteer Georgina Parsa completing the transfer.

The rescue had hoped to transfer 23 dogs from its shelter in Sonora, but three would not get into the crates, Van Zante said.

“The new arrivals included two mommy dogs with their litters of puppies,” he said.

He added: “If everything goes according to plan, they should be available (for adoption) in time for Christmas.”

Rancho Costal Humane Society President Judi Sanzo said the dogs and puppies will begin medical exams and behavior evaluations this next week, before settling into new kennels with food, water — and soft bedding “for the first time.”

Sanzo said some of the rescues will go into foster care with trained Rancho Coastal volunteers and also noted that the relationship between Rancho Coastal Humane Society and Rescue Fenix is new, but it’s already proven successful.

“``From the first transfer, we were told that the dogs and puppies who arrived here would not have survived if we had not taken them. That’s how important this is. Together, we save lives,” Sanzo said.

For more information about Rancho Coastal Humane Society and the group’s adoptions, visit or call (760) 753-6413.

— Karen Pearlman is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune

— City News Service contributed to this report.