When you have discovered your calling, you won’t let anything stop you from fulfilling your life’s purpose. For Edgardo Zuñiga Juárez, he dreamt of traveling and helping dogs and this also gave birth to a short documentary about his journey.
It has been six years since he started his passion project and has come a long way. He packed everything up along with his pets and embarked on a mission to save as many dogs as he can while helping them find a new home and family.
“One day, I had a vision. I had a dream, and I set about making it happen. I said to myself, ‘I want to travel and help dogs.” Juárez said in a short documentary from The Yogi Photographer. During his travels, Edgardo saw how street dogs left in the street were in pain. He was inspired by people who worked for animal rights before laws on animal abuse even existed in Mexico.
Juárez, also commonly known as Edgardo “dogs” Perros, started his journey in Bucerias, a little town by the western coast of the country. In six years, Edgardo reached La Paz in Los Cabos, Tijuana, the northern border up to Reynosa, down to Cancun and Chetumal.
He continued onwards to Puerto Chiapas near Guatemala and followed the western coastline towards Oaxaca where they currently reside for a pit stop.
Edgardo pushes a trolley with all the daily essentials for him and his dogs. His trip brought him to plenty of places, encountering sick and injured pooches along the way. As of October 26, 2019, he was able to rescue almost 500 canines and covered a total distance of 8368 miles. He aims to navigate the entire perimeter of Mexico back to his starting point.
Edgardo and his cute band of dogs help their rescues by giving them food, shelter, and first-aid treatment. He explains how the situation is different for dogs in rural areas, often having no one to nurture and take care of them, unlike canines in the cities.
Together with Blanco, Negro, and Chilletas, he teachers the new additions in the family to be calmer. In the short documentary, Edgardo ties up the new dogs to make them less agitated as they get used to the new environment.
All of Edgardo’s dogs are have been castrated and vaccinated. When encounters injured dogs, and when their case calls for an expert’s help, he makes sure they get their treatment promptly. “I have medication, shampoos, and I know how to use them. I don’t get involved in invasive procedures, and I don’t get involved in doing what I don’t know. My service is to find the dog, clean, and stabilize it…” Edgardo said in the short documentary.
In the case of Enzo, another dog they rescued, Edgardo took matters seriously and sought for the right help to save the poor pup’s life. Enzo developed a bone infection, and arm had to be amputated while suffering two fractures on his shoulder and femur.
Edgardo uses a small tricycle to carry his belongings. It has been slightly modified to cater more space for light baggage, lights, dog food, clothing, and first-aid supplies for his dogs. “I carry a little bit of equipment and a lot of dogs. It is like an ambulance,” he said.
In the short documentary, people have asked Edgardo what he’s going to do when he arrives at the place where he left. “I can’t live the rest of my life just saying [that] ‘I traveled once around Mexico and helped dogs.’ Not this…nothing fleeting.” He said. The 49-year-old sees the big picture in what he does—he wants to continue working with dogs but on a larger scale.
He aims extend his help in Mexico City, a place he considers a “full of abuse, social challenges, poverty, and the ingredients for everything to go wrong.” He considers it as a big project, and he’ll be needing plenty of hands on deck. But the fruits of his labor will be sweet—creating change in the thoughts of all people in favor of animals and the environment.
Watch the video of Edgardo’s journey below: