By John Ramos

SANTA ROSA (KPIX 5) — A new Bay Area dog shelter is looking past borders to save dogs. Muttopia is giving dogs from Mexico a second chance at life.

In this rural neighborhood in Santa Rosa, right before the end of the road, is a place for new beginnings.

Christi and Mancho Camblor are founders of Compassion Without Borders, a dog rescue group.

“We rescue a lot of animals from really rough places…” Mancho Camblor said.

They began 15 years ago in Mexico City, taking the hardest cases, like Toby who they found dragging himself through the streets.  With medical care and a lot of patience, he’s now living happily in his new home in Ukiah. Mexico is a tough place for dogs and the couple have treated hundreds of abused animals in their mobile vet truck.

“And sadly, we would have to leave a lot of dogs behind because there just wasn’t a space for them to go,” Mancho Camblor said.

But with Muttopia, that is changing. An animal welfare group called CAPE donated $700,000 for the couple to open their own shelter. They found this former chicken ranch in December and now up to 50 dogs have a place to recover from the hard life they’ve known, on either side of the border.

“So we help animals in Mexico because they need help. We help animals here because they need help. You pretty much help. We help animals!  Compassion without borders!” Mancho Camblor said.

And the group’s work in Mexico is starting to make a difference. Painful forms of euthanasia have been banned and new anti-cruelty laws are being enforced. They’re setting an example for an entire nation.

“Mexico really needs…people that pioneer and teach that it’s actually possible to do this. And to stop the horrendous suffering that is there,” Mancho Camblor said.

And at Muttopia, a new life can begin.

The group is now raising funds to build a medical clinic at the shelter.

Comments (8)
  1. How much are they gonna charge for the dogs they “Rescue”? Is California running out of dogs?

    1. Roy Mason says:

      Tim, I adopted Toby. Cost me nothing. Believe me, these people are not in this for the money. They are totally dedicated to saving dogs.

  2. Nadja Adolf says:

    This could be interesting. Not that long ago a dog imported from Egypt proved to be rabid and resulted in many “rescue” volunteers and employees receiving the serum. A number of veterinarians are deeply concerned about the loopholes in the import regulations that have resulted in imported animals bringing parasites and diseases that were previously unknown in the US.

    I find importing foreign strays disconcerting, given the constant claim that we have an excess of dogs in US shelters. Shouldn’t rescues and shelters be required to first solve local problems, before tackling international problems?

    I believe that ALL laws that apply to pet shops, breeders, and kennels should apply to shelters and rescues.

  3. Cindy Cooke says:

    California, wake up! You are driving responsible breeders out of your state in droves so that the only place left to buy puppies (yes, I said “buy”) will be these shelters. You can take your choice of dogs of totally unknown origin, with the temperaments that it took to survive on the mean streets of Mexico, and diseases your vets have probably never seen. What used to be a humane charity has become a racket!

    1. Roy Mason says:

      Driving responsible breeders out of the state? Do these dogs look like purebreds? I have had 8 dogs, all rescues. I got them because they needed me, not because I needed a particular breed. Those of us who adopt rescues, do it because we feel the need to take care of them, not because we need a dog who will suit our needs.

  4. Roy Mason says:

    Cannot believe the negative reaction of the above posts. Toby, the dog you saw dragging his legs in the dirt, is now sunning himself on my deck. The film you saw of him hobbling was shot on Aug. 13,. Now he sprints around the yard, goes on daily 3/4 mile hikes and plays wildly with his best buddy, a female Akita mix. His life of hopeless misery in Mexico has been transformed to one of comfort, safety and love thanks to Compassion Without Borders.