Watch this video of our Rescue facility In Las Cuevas Baja California Sur
We are in urgent need of Rescue Partners throughout the US & Canada
Exceptional volunteer who supports our mission.
Cortez Rescue is so grateful for all the tireless service Jessie provides to our pups and organization. Jessie does so much for Cortez Rescue; she creates and keeps current all our doggie website profiles. It's a big job because things change literally daily. Jessie also fosters and helps with rehoming Cortez dogs in the Portland OR area. Jessie is a great example of how anyone from anywhere can volunteer and help out. Please consider taking Jessie's lead and creating a foster and rehoming support wherever you live. Thank You Jessie! Cortez Rescue and all the doggies love you!
Get Inspired by reading Jessie's interview below
CR (Cortez Rescue): What makes you so committed to helping dogs? JS (Jessie Spatrisano): What makes me so committed to helping these dogs is seeing the transformation they go through from the time they first arrive at Cortez Rescue (CR) to them getting the care they need to thrive to when they find their forever families. When a dog comes to CR, they are immediately seen and assessed by Gretel. At that time, she takes a photo of the dog. When I create a dog’s profile, I use this photo as a starting point. I then add photos to their profiles that are taken by the volunteers and fosters along the way, which illustrate their progression. It is truly incredible to see how these once beaten down beings become robust, loving dogs.
CR: What inspires you to volunteer for Cortez Rescue? JS: The work that CR does is what inspires me to continue volunteering for them. I was reluctant to go out to CR because I could only imagine what a harsh place it must be. However, to my astonishment, I was impressed with how humanely the shelter was set up: Every kennel has a roof; the pens are cleaned out daily; the long-term pens have sandboxes so the dogs have something else besides concrete to lay on; there is painstaking coordination of volunteers to walk the dogs 5 days a week/let the puppies out of their pens to play and; there is a veterinarian on site. Although how amazing that was/is, what really inspires me is the commitment, dedication and tireless work that Jen, Terri and all the volunteers do for getting every dog that comes to CR the medical care and attention they need to thrive and the persistence in finding them a permanent, loving family as quickly as possible.
CR: What is your most tender or memorable experience volunteering at Cortez Rescue? JS: There are two memorable and gratifying experiences that come to my mind in regard fostering to CR dogs. The first one I like to call, Finding Edith. Edith was a young dog who had given birth to 9 puppies (all survived!) before she was sent up to Portland to what was supposed to be her permanent home. Unfortunately for her, things didn’t work out and by the time she arrived in our home she was completely traumatized and frightened. Shortly after we had her, an older couple came forward who wanted to adopt her. Since they lived 3 hours away, we met them halfway. Things appeared fine at the meeting but as soon as they pulled into their driveway and opened the door, Edith bolted. Their home was situated on the side of a hill. On the other side of the hill was Hwy 99 and the railroad tracks. After a few days of sightings but not being able to catch her, we drove down to see if we could find her. Through a lot of luck, I found her on the side of the tracks. I stopped about 20 feet away, got on my knees and asked her, “Is that my baby girl?” At that, she dropped her ears and came trotting over to me and into my arms. I fed her some chicken and we took her back to her new home. It took a long time for Edith to become an engaging member of the family but through the patience of her people, she has become the family pet they originally saw in her.
The second one I call, Our Miracle Dog Capri. Capri came from a litter of puppies who had to be quarantined while at CR and then again in the States and so didn’t get the usual socialization that puppies get at the shelter. She and her sister were in a foster for 3 months when it was decided to split them up because they weren’t engaging with humans. The foster adopted her sister and Capri came up to us. We fostered her for 6 weeks before she found her home. The whole time she was in our care, she hid. If she was in the yard, it was behind a bush. If she was in the house, it was behind the couch. At least once a day I would find her, pick her up, put her on my lap and pet her. Although she liked being on my lap and stayed for hours sometimes, she would cower and tremble whenever I approached her.
It broke my heart every time. Finally, a family with a 7-year-old boy, a 5-year-old girl and a male dog similar to Capri but 2 years older, wanted to adopt her. When we drove into their driveway the kids were sitting in their little chairs just waiting for Capri. We all went into the house with her on leash. The amazing thing is that she never pulled on the leash or tried to hide. Even when the two kids approached her with toys, she didn’t pull or try to hide and actually sniffed at the toys. They decided to keep her and as I was leaving, I asked the mom to please send me a photo of Capri when she wags her tail because we had never seen it. That night, she sent me a video of Capri in the middle of the living room floor chewing on a toy. The mom called her name and she wagged her tail! She sent me another video of her playing with the boy and then she ran and jumped up on the couch. The boy came over to her, sat down next to her and started petting her and she didn’t cower or run away. I believe that somehow, she knew this was her family and that she was home. It truly was a miracle.
CR: Anything else you'd like to add? JS: When we tell people we foster dogs, they always tell us what good people we must be but honestly, we get much more out of fostering then we give. The light does go out of the house when a dog leaves our home but I cannot describe the incredible, heartwarming feeling we get every time one of our foster dogs goes to its forever family. I encourage everyone to at least give fostering a try. It’s easier than one might think and it will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.