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Old October 8th, 2004, 09:43 AM
Christine A. Christine A. is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 15
Thumbs up Mexico City "Dog Lady"

Although she will never see this, a huge thank you needs to go to Felisa Osorno who runs the Franciscan Refuge in Mexico City. See article here: http://kicon.com/mexicodogs/saga.html This is their website: http://www.geocities.com/refugiofran...exenglish.html

I personally volunteered there while living in Mexico City for 3 years and it was the most moving experience of my life. There were over 2,000 dogs there at that time and Felisa knew all of them by name (that she personally gives them), as well as the over 200 cats. Not one animal will be put down in this shelter due to lack of space, and Felisa interviews every single person who wants to adopt an animal from this shelter. I remember one particular day, when Felisa was not there at the time I was volunteering. A family came in wanting a particular dog for their daughter and had chosen a Jack russel mix. A senior volunteer allowed them to take the dog the same day. The next day, I saw Felicia who told me that she was not happy about the decision to let this dog go to that particular family, and that had she been there she would not have let him go. She told me she was sure he would be returned that week. Well, not even a few hours passed when I heard a knock on the door. I opened the viewing slot at the top of the door to see who it was and there was Pepe (the dog) and the family there to return him. As Felisa had predicted he was not the right dog for a family with a small child as he was too hyper for children and tended to prefer the company of an adult male. This was common with Felisa as she knew the personality of each and every dog in that shelter.

The dogs were taken for group walks in the 10 acres of land behind the shelter on a daily basis. "Negrito" was a dog that had lost his leg and had been set on fire as he lived on the street. But he hobbled along for his walks, staring at the ground as was his trait. In the background you would here Felisa yelling "Juanito has diarrhea" or "Sam looks depressed" as she made note in her agenda and a volunteer vet, or staff would come and take the animal to be checked. I will never forget Leslie, a collie mix, who would always find me through the ocean of dogs whenever I arrived. She would simply jump up, but her paws on my shoulders and stare deeply into my eyes. I remember crying one day and Felisa came to me and said "why are you crying". There is no place in the world where these animals will receive more love". She then said, "My goal is not to find these animals homes. My goal is for them to be happy. And if this means that I will forver have thousands of cats and dogs in my care, then so be it." And I knew in that moment it was true. Through all the chaos, each and every one of the animals in this shelter was deeply loved - this one woman, 70+ years of age had a heart big enough to love them all and, I knew that in her care no harm would come to any of them ever again.

Felisa Osorno is a hero, and should be recognized worldwide for her efforts. I am now back in Canada and not a day goes by that I don't think about my experience there. I no longer cry when I remember - I know how lucky every animal is that reaches the arms of Felisa Osorno - they are in paradise. A little lady with an enormous heart. Thank you Felisa. The world needs more people like you.
"The day will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals the same way they now look upon the murder of men." - Leonardo Da Vinci
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