A rural road in Hidalgo County has become a dumping ground for dogs. A couple who live nearby have spent their own money rescuing them and finding them homes. Would you save an abandoned animal even if it meant calling police?
Joe Alvarado lives out in the rural area north of Alton and is saddened by what occurs out here.
"Every month we come across another animal." He and his wife, both former UTPA professors enjoy their solitude off Los Ebanos Road and have a long caliche driveway leading to their home. It's hidden so people passing by think this is a secluded location that's not traveled. That's where they dump their dogs.
"We found a Chihuahua down the road in bad shape, the vets said she wasn't going to live." This is what Piper looked like when Joe found her and two weeks after being in his care, she was on the mend.
She lived to be about 14 years old and died peacefully in her favorite bed at Joe's house.
"They just kind of tell you they want to home, we pick them up, take them to the vet, they get their shots and get fixed." Joe hasn't caught anyone in the act of abandoning the animals, but has luckily spotted the poor souls in time to get them emergency care which is all out of his own pocket.
Instead of caring for their pets, people are putting them in bags and throwing them out like yesterday's trash.
"There was a trash bag on the side of the road with 5 puppies in it.. alive." All of the puppies were rehabilitated and turned over to loving homes.
"We have been able to find homes for alot of them, either are friends or we have contacts." One of the litter stayed with Joe and his wife and Thunder is his little buddy, perfectly healthy and, we can only imagine, grateful to be alive. To think that people can betray these harmless animals and leave them with no water, food and exposed to the elements puzzles this animal lover.
"Found two more dogs, one tied to the phone pole." He has not passed up any of the dumped dogs or cats for that matter because if he did, they would probably starve to death or be overcome with heat.
In fact, Joe doesn't give the very ill animals away, he keeps them as his own to make sure they have a life filled with love.
"Officially we have 8 dogs, 12 cats," said Joe with a big smile.
If you see someone abandoning an animal or abusing one call authorities immediately.
Animal cruelty comes with a stiff fine and possible jail time.