Hundreds of injured and abandoned pups have been rescued from the side of the road – and it’s all thanks to one woman and a dog who she found seven years ago.
Judy Obregon Russell was driving past a well known “dog dumping ground” in Fort Worth, Texas in 2010 when she spotted Mercy – a pit bull with several fractures in her leg – lying on the side of the road.
Judy picked up the hurt pup and took it to a veterinarian for treatment and care. Mercy, who has since been adopted and given a loving home, was only the beginning.
The dumping ground is due to the nearby dog fighting rings of Echo Lake. Since she first saw spotted Mercy all of those years ago, Judy has stopped by the same road spot every single day to rescue the dogs left behind.
Through her nonprofit, The Abandoned Ones, Judy has helped rescue and rehabilitate over 300 abandoned dogs. Her organization is also rallying for the installation of cameras in the Echo Lake area in order to stop the dog fighting rings.
“The animals in this area or in the street have no one,” she says. “This makes them even more urgent.”
She uses her own money as well as donations through Facebook for the animals’ care. She is clearly drawn to the underdogs. Something within her is fed when she can give them love they have not experienced in this world.
Obregon tries to educate owners and helps pay for vaccinations when she can. She helps fix fences so that dogs can be released from shackles and chains. She says that she has neutered and spayed just about every dog on her block. She works to prevent the problem by speaking to teens about animal cruelty.
A pit bull she calls Hercules was bound and chained to a pole at a flea market.
“I dealt with his owners for weeks before I removed Hercules,” she says. “Hercules was dying on his chain. I videotaped him while he was chained up so that everyone could see how bad off he was.
“Being that he is a pit, it is hard to place him.” Sweet Hercules is still in search of a home.
“My heart is for the voiceless,” she says. “Animals can’t speak, so we are all they have.”
On some days, Obregon feels the weight of the world. But she never gives up.
“I sometimes feel alone, as I am one woman trying to make a difference,” she says. “My dream is to one day open up a facility and house the animals that never will get the chance to be saved. Pit bulls are the first to go in every shelter.”
Obregon admits she’s been in dangerous situations.
“Do I think about it, before going in? Well, yes, most of the time,” she says. “But my love for animals takes over the fear I may have at that moment. Then I think about the animals I have already saved and where they are today and that is what keeps me going. I pray every night before I go to bed that the animals that I do know are out there, are still there when I return to feed them.”