When I returned from Mexico, it was without the Dreams dogs. However, they were not forgotten. I had made friends with several of the guards at the gate at the apartment complex and between them, I was able to get news of how the dogs were doing. My main contact, Carlos, would send me pictures and videos.
One day, Tontin decided to make a trip to the lagoon, most likely in search of water, where he was seen by someone and reported to the administration of the complex.
Tontin was targeted for removal! He was brutally captured and taken to a “ranch” in North Cancun, where he was tied with a one-meter chain. He was given food and water but he was not happy.
I did not find out about this for two weeks as the guards knew I would be very upset. And I was! They had taken him from the only home he had ever known (he was born at the complex). They had taken him from his friends (the other Dreams dogs) and they had deprived him of the companionship of his humans (the guards at the gate).
I was furious and frightened about what might be happening to him so Karin, my partner in the Los Perros Perdidos Foundation, went out there to assess the situation.
Well. Tontin’s keepers decided to make it look better than it was so in switching him from his one-meter chain to a longer one, he escaped.
I was devastated. He was at least 10km from his home, in a wild area on the outskirts of Cancun. It would be a miracle if he could find his way back.
It was a looooong three weeks: postings on Facebook with various rescue groups, frantic phone calls, new connections made with people on Facebook who were looking for him. At last, a photo was sent to Karin of a very skinny dog spotted at Cancun International Airport, on the south end of Cancun. It was him!
I couldn’t believe it. Somehow this amazing dog had made his way either through or around Cancun to end up far south from where he had escaped and also south of the complex where he had lived.
It was a mystery. But this was only part of the battle. Now we had to catch him.
A dog who has been on his own for his whole life and who had been basically on the run for his survival for the past three weeks was not going to be easy to catch.
It took a day, but with many people helping, Tontin was finally captured that night by Pepe, a kind and amazing man who also has devoted his life to helping street dogs. Pepe was the ONLY person who could have captured him and we are VERY grateful for his help.
Now, the next problem. What to do with him? He can’t go back to the complex. He is not well, he is terribly thin and covered in skin irritations from his time in the jungle and on the streets.
We found a temporary home for him where he is being cared for along with many other dogs. He is receiving medications and nutritious food. The staff are working to socialize him.
We are working with a sanctuary outside of Cancun to construct a shelter for him and the other Dreams dogs. Many people are contributing to make this happen. Many people are stepping up to help Tontin and the rest of the Dreams dogs to have the best life possible.
We have a long way to go but I am so grateful that Tontin was found and that he survived this ordeal. It really was a miracle.