Have you encountered street dogs when traveling to another country, such as Mexico? It’s not uncommon for stray dogs to be in abundance in communities without adequate shelters or rescue programs. But Street Dog Hero is on a mission to change that. Keep reading to find out who they are and what they do exactly.
Let’s dig in.
Who Is Street Dog Hero?
Street Dog Hero is a nonprofit rescue organization based in Bend, Oregon. Their mission is to serve dogs in need around the world through rescue, adoption, wellness, spaying and neutering, and education.
The dog rescue organization transports dogs from outside the United States to adoptive homes in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
They’re also addressing dog overpopulation in developing countries. In partnership with rescue organizations, they put on spay and neuter clinics and provide community education.
Street Dog Hero doesn’t run a shelter but has a foster and adoption program. Once they receive word from partner rescue organizations that a dog needs a home, they transport it via air travel to Oregon. Upon arrival, the dog is microchipped, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and treated for any medical conditions.
How Did Street Dog Hero Start?
Marianne Cox of Bend, Oregon, started Street Dog Hero. When she traveled internationally, she always left concerned about many stray dogs living in communities. She vowed, “To save one of those street dogs.”
While vacationing in Sayulita, Mexico, in 2017, Marianne partnered with a local organization to bring her first street dog back to Bend. It was a Vizsla mix at risk of poisoning because it was a pest in the city. Once in Oregon, it only took three days for the dog to be placed in its forever home. And Street Dog Hero was officially a rescue organization.
Marianne works hard to raise awareness about street dogs. She even started Junior Heroes, a program to teach kids why animal welfare is important.
Where Do the Street Dog Hero Dogs Come From?
Among places Street Dog Hero has rescued dogs are Mexico, India, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, China, South Korea, and Albania. They’ve also found homes for dogs in overcrowded shelters in the states of Texas, Ohio, and California.
All dogs are medically assessed before they’re transported to the Pacific Northwest. Making sure a dog, especially one in bad shape, is fit for air travel is critical. And upon arrival, they’re treated for any medical conditions, including parasites.
Why Are There So Many Street Dogs in Mexico?
Mexico is where Marianne first rescued a dog outside the U.S. The country has an overwhelming number of stray dogs. So why are there so many street dogs in Mexico?
Street Dog Hero said via their Facebook page, “A big factor is that there’s limited access to spay and neuter programs which is the key to solving the animal homelessness problem. That’s why we focus our spay and neuter efforts on the communities that need it the most, like Chetumal & Bacalar, Mexico.
By tackling the overpopulation issue head-on and spaying and neutering hundreds of animals during a weekend clinic, we can help keep thousands of unwanted dogs off the streets who are born in the most horrible circumstances.”
How Does Street Dog Hero Place Rescues?
To adopt a dog through Street Dog Hero, you’ll need to fill out an application. Once your application is approved, it can be used for multiple adoptions.
Finalizing a dog adoption includes a contract and a fee of $500, which covers costs such as medical and transportation. Before adoption and upon arrival to the U.S., the dogs go to foster homes.
Why Does Street Dog Hero Have a Foster Program?
Street Dog Hero places rescues through their foster program. When they receive word from a rescue organization of a dog in need, they fly the dog to the Pacific Northwest. However, before the dog can get on the airplane they need to have a foster home waiting in the U.S. for them. So, fostering is the most critical piece of the operation.
Some foster dog parents end up with a “foster fail”, which means they fall in love with the dog and adopt it. However, fostering a dog is also an excellent option for someone who doesn’t want a pet long-term but is still an animal lover who wants to help neglected dogs.
How Can You Support Street Dog Hero?
There are several ways to support Street Dog Hero. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Volunteers are needed throughout Oregon and in Seattle and San Francisco. Specifically, the rescue organization needs people to be foster parents and serve as flight volunteers and transporters.
Flight angels are volunteers visiting a destination like the Caribbean or other places around the world. While you’re on vacation or traveling for business, there may be a street dog that needs an escort to the U.S. It’s a simple process, present documents for the dog at customs in the airport when entering the U.S. Street Dog Hero takes care of everything else.
Street Dog Hero is in need of donations continually. From dog transportation and medical costs to ongoing research and communication, it can be expensive to run a nonprofit organization. Any amount of money you can donate will help get neglected dogs off the streets.
The foster program is an excellent way to help get more dogs off the streets and out of shelters. If you have the space and capacity to take in a foster dog, your help is needed. The time commitment for fostering can vary. Sometimes, you may only have a dog in your home for a weekend, or it could be longer.
There are always dogs that need a forever home. Adoption is a win-win. It gives a dog a good life and can bring you much joy. You can fill out an application form on their website, and if you’re excepted, it’s kept on file for a year.
Ready to adopt a dog? Read our step-by-step guide to bringing a new pup home!
How To Follow Street Dog Hero’s Live-Saving Missions
Even if you’re not ready to foster, adopt, volunteer, or donate, you can cheer on Street Dog Hero’s life-saving missions through their social media. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram. Be warned, there are a lot of difficult stories about abused and neglected dogs. However, if you’re like us and love incredible comeback stories, your cup will runeth over. And there’s even more cuteness!
Street Dog Hero Is Saving Dogs’ Lives
We encourage you to follow Street Dog Hero and learn more about how they save dogs. Their efforts are inspiring, and their actions are pivotal for changing the narrative of animal welfare.
How might you be able to support Street Dog Hero?