Tuco’s Story – From Chilean Streets to Californian Family


by Denise Carey-Costa

A lone little dog walked the streets of Chile, semi paralyzed and painfully, dragging his body along. It was unknown how long he had been out there but he went unnoticed by many. People bustled past caught up in their own daily lives and preoccupied by the jobs and appointments they needed to get to.Tuco

No one stopped to help the dog, just hurried past upset that he was in the way. But one female didn’t just see another stray dog dragging himself down the street, she saw a living, sentient being that needed help and she responded with compassion.

This lady videotaped the dog and reached out to a Chilean rescue group known as Yo Adopto located in Intique, Chile to help him. A group of men and women teamed up and got the dog off the street and to a local vet. The dog was given the name Tuco. Yo Adopto sent out a plea for someone to step up and take Tuco. He was at a vet being treated but was in danger of being euthanized if no rescue was found. They were keeping him safe until then.

Husky House Rescue in New Jersey offered to take Tuco if he could be flown to them. Michelle Aylward, a volunteer with Pilotsnpaws was contacted to see if they could help with Tuco’s transport. Unfortunately, Pilotsnpaws could not help in this situation as they do not provide long distance, international transports. Michelle did not forget Tuco or his plight and asked for a picture to be sent to her. When she saw the picture and the video she cried for him. She continued to ask around for someone to help get Tuco to the U.S.

After reaching out to many via social networks, a wonderful, rescuer who goes by the Facebook name Pluto Blondino stepped forward and said she would be willing to get Tuco onto a flight to New Jersey. Several days later, once all the details were in place, Tuco’s adventure began.

He was flown from Intique, Chile to Santiago, Chile then nonstop to New York. Lorraine Healy, Director of Husky House Rescue was there to meet the flight and immediately whisked him off to a vet where he received a ten day treatment of antibiotics, and meds for his inflamed skin. An MRI revealed Tuco did have feelings in his legs but an infection had set in that almost caused an amputation.

The happy news was, Tuco’s benefactor, Pluto Blondino who was responsible for getting him to the U.S fell in love with him and his will and desire to live. She decided to adopt him and he is now living a wonderful life in Southern California. His leg was saved and he is walking.

The vet believes with good food and exercise to build muscle tone and strength he will hopefully regain full use of his legs. Unfortunately, Tuco is only one of millions of dogs that are abandoned on the streets or dumped at shelters.

It is estimated that 8 million dogs enter shelters in the U.S every year and only 50% of them make it out alive. Some of those killed are only puppies.

Not every dog will have the happy ending Tuco had. The only way to stop this ever growing epidemic is to spay and neuter your pets. And do not buy that cute puppy or kitten because you think it will make a great Christmas gift for that certain someone. The majority of Christmas pets are the very ones who end up in high kill shelters by the following spring or summer.

Kudos to everyone who played a part in Tuco’s amazing journey, with no thought of any material reward for themselves other than the satisfaction of knowing they were important in the life of another.

To learn more about Husky House Rescue, visit their website at http://www.huskyhouse.org/.

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.” Hebrews 13:2 King James Version

This story was first published on Examiner.com and is reposted here with the permission of the author.

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