US-Mexico border: Dogs struggle to survive after being left by migrant owners - Hindustan Times
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‘Heartbreaking’: Dogs struggle to survive after being abandoned by migrant owners at US-Mexico border

ByShweta Kukreti
Feb 06, 2024 10:53 PM IST

Unaware of the strict rules, the migrants abandon their canines at the US-Mexico border, forcing them to survive in the hostile conditions.

As ongoing migrant crisis in the United States dominates the 2024 White House race, faithful dogs are travelling thousands of miles to the US-Mexico border with their migrant owners only to become homeless. According to federal processing centres, animals are subject to border regulations for entry at the border.

In order to enter the United States, these dogs are required to have a rabies vaccination certificate and valid microchip.(X@JLRINVESTIGATES)
In order to enter the United States, these dogs are required to have a rabies vaccination certificate and valid microchip.(X@JLRINVESTIGATES)

Unaware of the strict rules, the migrants abandon their canines at the southern border, forcing them to survive in the hostile conditions.

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This month, several domestic breeds of dogs were seen "wandering on both sides of the border at Eagle Pass, Texas", New York Post reported.

Dog crisis on the US-Mexico border

While few of the dogs were injured, others seemed scared when they were just offered a dish of water. They had no choice but to scrounge for food among the barbed wire on the border since they were starving, the report stated.

In order to enter the United States, these dogs are required to have a rabies vaccination certificate and valid microchip. The number of canines at the border is surging as abandoned dogs are giving birth to new puppies.

If an owner does not give up ownership to friends or family, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) "works with local officials from animal health services, such as a local humane shelter, to see if there can be placement for the animal while its owner remains in custody," a CBP spokesperson told The Post.

John Rouke, a veteran who has spearheaded prior animal rescue operations along the southern border, described the situation as "heartbreaking".

What is PETA's take on the issue?

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) confirmed the reports that migrants are bringing animals to the US border that are "as varied as guinea pigs and small dogs."

PETA is appealing to the Biden administration to allow animals to enter the US “if they are vaccinated or can be quarantined” in order to reunite them with their loved ones, organisation's spokesperson Catie Cryar said.

Last year in September, a canine named 'Oso' was detained by the US authorities and then sent back to Mexican territory. He was abandoned by tourists on one of the beaches in Tijuana. Later, he was adopted by shopkeepers in the area, Marca reported.

Netizens urge authorities to look after the abandoned dogs

As the video and pictures of abandoned dogs surfaced on social media, one user on X (formerly Twitter) wrote: “That’s despicable . I’d contribute to save the helpless dogs.”

“Awww that’s so sad!” another added.

“Omg this kills me! Those poor dogs. How awful. I hope local rescues know about them and can help,” third X user commented.

According to the United States Customs and Border Protection, over 2.47 million migrant encounters were documented along the southwest border in fiscal year 2023, which concluded on September 30.

The government agency's figures for December show that 302,034 people were encountered on the Mexican border.

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