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Army Veteran Rescues Dogs at Texas-Mexico Border


An army veteran residing in Palm City, Florida, is on a mission as he rescues dogs abandoned at the Texas-Mexico border. John Rourke — who’s served in Bosnia and Iraq — will soon make his third trip to the border in an effort to give the abandoned animals a second chance at life.

Migrants crossing the border are not allowed to keep their pets

A large number of migrants making their way to the United States often bring their pets along. However, these animals are subject to strict entry policies at the border.

U.S. laws prohibit migrants from staying with their pets in the temporary migrant housing facilities in Texas. As a result, most opt to ditch their animals at the border.

“In the majority of the cases they let the dogs go and most of them are not spayed or neutered,” Rourke told WPEC12 News.

The Army veteran further shared: “It’s really a public health crisis because no community should have hundreds of dogs running through the street. We just kinda try to go to those areas and scoop the dogs up.”

Rourke has partnered with Big Dog Ranch Rescue to help save the abandoned dogs and find them forever homes.

For this third rescue mission, they’ll send a bus to the border to bring the animals to Alabama for quarantine. After the quarantine period lapses, they’ll take the stray pets to Palm Beach County for medical evaluation and care.

“There’s just dogs everywhere. Stray dogs, stray cats. All over the streets, on every street corner, in every parking lot,” Rourke stated. “I do this because it’s the right thing to do, because I love animals. I love this country and I just didn’t realize until I went down there and saw it firsthand, how many dogs and the conditions that the dogs are in.”

In January, Rourke and his partners rescued about 94 dogs abandoned at the border. Thankfully, these animals will be up for adoption sometime next week.


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