Tijuana, Mex. – A skinny American mastiff was seen walking in circles. He had signs of being beaten up, and was dazed and weak from hunger, injuries and many a sleepless night.
Long-time independent animal rescue advocate, Yolanda Escobar, observed him dragging his paws as he stumbled in circles with his head “hanging very low.” He was in obvious distress. Escobar could not leave him there. He would not survive the streets of Tijuana – not in that condition. It’s not in Escobar’s DNA to leave knowing this harsh reality.
Dubbed Toro, he was weak and injured, but he was also described by Escobar as “massive” because of his great size. The vet later confirmed that Toro is an American mastiff. After further research, it was discovered he is an American bandogge mastiff, to be more precise. Indeed, this is a magnificent breed. Toro should be around 100 to 120 lbs. once he puts some meat back on this skinny frame. In fact, he is over 5-feet tall when he stands on his hind legs.
Escobar was on a mission: To get Toro into her car and take him to a temporary safe haven while he could be vetted and a rescue could be found. There was a problem, though. He was extremely fearful of humans and other dogs. He had bite wounds all over his face and head area – one of which later turned into an abscess the size of a grapefruit on his neck. With the assistance of a couple of men and rope, they were able to get Toro into a crate. They lifted the crate with Toro in it into Escobar’s vehicle. It was a struggle, but mission accomplished.
Toro calmed down after about an hour in the car and even “melted” when Escobar pet him and spoke to him in “baby-talk.”
Once at Escobar’s home in Tijuana, she placed him in her car port, which temporarily serves as an 8′ x 8′ pen – much too small for such a huge breed that requires a lot of exercise. However, he was safe. That’s what mattered at that moment. There was no foster who could take him.
Escobar left Toro in the tiny make-shift pen with an igloo for shelter, and food and water that would last a week until she could return to visit him the following weekend, which she has done every single weekend since she rescued him.
Escobar lives and works in the U.S. In addition, she has other responsibilities, including caring for 10 rescues in her own home, which make it impossible for her to visit Toro during the week. There are a couple of gentlemen who care for her dogs while Escobar is in the U.S., but they do not want to get near Toro because he appears intimidating. The men gave him his medications by putting it in a hotdog and throwing it over the fence.
Escobar spends time with Toro in Tijuana on the weekends and takes him to his vet appointments. His wounds have healed. He has been fully vetted and sterilized, thanks to the generous sponsorship of a wonderful reliable donor.
In addition, proper nourishment and rest has him feeling much, much better and stronger. His demeanor has softened significantly. When he spots Escobar approaching during her weekend visits, he becomes giddy with happiness and joy.
Unfortunately, he is at great risk now. It won’t be long before he figures out he can jump the pen enclosure. If that happens, he will be out on the streets and exposed to a multitude of dangers. Moreover, the small pen in which he is being housed with absolutely no human or animal interaction for an entire week is not conducive to his mental well-being. Unfortunately, no one in Tijuana wants to get near him on the misplaced belief that he is inherently aggressive, when that’s simply not the case. Canines are instinctively pack animals. They are social beings. It won’t be long before Toro starts going stir-crazy.
A rescue, or someone with experience working with this breed is desperately needed. Further information about Toro is as follows:
- Breed: American bandogge mastiff
- Age: Approx. 3 years old
- Weight: 90 lbs. (as of now)
- Gender: Male
- Vaccines received: All, including Bordetella
- Tests: Negative for everything
- Temperament: Playful, but he doesn’t know how to play. He is possessive of tennis balls. He takes food gently when fed by hand. He does not like being touched on his rear-end for some unknown reason (hence, the muzzle). He is a strong dog. Has not exhibited aggression towards other dogs; but curious when he sees them. He had one brief, direct interaction with a dog, and was not aggressive.
Time is of the essence. Anyone or rescue interested in Toro, and who has experience working with this kind of breed, is asked to contact Crossing Guardians at Rescue@CrossingGuardians.org, or Yolanda Escobar at firstname.lastname@example.org.