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TAPACT Answers: What Happens to Border Pups If We Don’t Buy Them?

:Nicole Young, for TAPACT

Image: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMLS9vrjTZA/ 

One of the most common questions we get from fellow TAPACTivists and puppy lovers alike is what happens to the puppies being sold at the border if we don’t buy them? 

While we can’t make any guarantees, here are the most likely outcomes: 

They could be sold. Puppy vendors at the border are very motivated to sell, they prey on unsuspecting, well-intentioned individuals and will try to use any means possible to make the sale. This includes dressing them in humiliating costumes, lying about their wellbeing, bargaining, guilt-tripping, and more. Puppies could also be smuggled across the border to be sold in San Diego and beyond. Online sales for border pups are also booming; if you come across a website that raises red flags be sure to report it to TAPACT. 

They could be used for breeding. Dogs that aren’t sold at the border crossing may be kept by the vendor, brought back to a puppy mill or backyard breeder and used to breed future puppies that will eventually be peddled. The dogs are forced to reproduce, many at the young age of just six months, so they can be used for breeding for years to come. 

If we can discontinue the demand for puppies both of these outcomes will cease to exist, as peddlers will not attempt to sell puppies if there is no demand, nor will they breed puppies that won’t sell. 

Image: https://www.thedowneypatriot.com/articles/use-extreme-caution-if-buying-a-puppy 

They could be released. Puppies that are not sold at the border may be released into the streets of Tijuana or other parts of Mexico. While this may result in a harsh, difficult life for the dog, it also means it now has the opportunity to be rescued. Hundreds of people – including our volunteers at The Animal Pad – work to rescue and take care of street dogs in Mexico. Upon being rescued, these pups will be taken to local shelters or will be transported safely across the border to rescues who work to get the dogs fostered and adopted. 

Image: https://thriveglobal.in/stories/5-ways-to-help-street-dogs-in-a-pandemic/ 

They could be confiscated. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen often, but on rare occasions puppies who are up for sale at the border are confiscated by local authorities because the act is illegal. Tijuana Mayor Arturo González Cruz has ordered the shut down of multiple vendors over the past year. The puppies were taken to local shelters and adopted out. This is becoming more common as more people report the vendors when they see them. TAPACT is working to educate local authorities in Tijuana about these dogs while encouraging them to enforce the law and shut down vendors. 

They could be rescued. Finally, the best possible outcome in our opinion… rescue! Occasionally vendors agree to relinquish puppies to rescue, or puppies who are about to be sold to vendors are relinquished to rescue. TAPACT and The Animal Pad volunteers always offer to take these puppies into our care, but oftentimes the vendors would prefer to make money instead of doing what is best for the puppy.

Image: https://www.instagram.com/p/B3qF7vIFZ79/ 

While it’s undoubtedly difficult to ignore puppy peddlers and turn down a sweet, innocent pup who could face one of many terrible fates, it’s crucial to say no to puppy vendors to stop the demand, so that there are no puppies to be sold in the first place. You must think beyond the few cute faces and think about the thousands of pups yet to be born and the mothers who are forced to breed in horrible conditions just so that a peddler can make a buck.  

If you are at the border and see these puppy peddlers, the best thing you can do is report them to Tijuana Authorities at +52 664 186 9498 and Tijuana Animal Control at +52 664 973 7006. And if you still want to help these animals, adoption or fostering is one of the best things you can, and will ever, do. Contact your local animal shelter or rescue organization – like The Animal Pad – to learn more about adoption, fostering or other ways to help.