Borders frequently feel like archaic distinctions, but never more so than when the welfare of animals is at stake. Animals don't care about nationalities or geography—they just want homes. NOBARS, or No Borders Animal Rescue Society, feels the same way. Their mission is to rescue stray, abandoned, abused, or surrendered animals—regardless of where they come from. NOBARS' specialty is to help save dogs facing life-threatening circumstances and uncertain futures in Mexico and then bring them to Canada. International adoption is not unique, but it is so important when it comes to saving dogs in communities that don’t have the resources to help them. NOBARS' central belief—that every dog deserves a home, whether they are Mexican or Canadian—is making a world of difference for dogs on both sides of the border.
Modern Dog's own office dog Penny Palmer is a NOBARS success story. Penny was found wandering the streets of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with “matted fur, super skinny, and full of parasites,” recounts Jessica Palmer, Modern Dog’s Advertising Manager and Penny's adopter. Now, Penny is a beloved member of the Modern Dog team, ever eager to volunteer for treat-testing duties. This is partially because NOBARS makes a point to select friendly, adoptable dogs and then provide quarantine in local Mexican foster homes so the dogs can acclimatize and recover before enduring any travel stress, thereby ensuring successful adoption. This focus on emotional rehabilitation is one of the things that make NOBARS unique. NOBARS' local volunteers washed, groomed, and fed Penny prior to her journey to Canada, and the change in her was amazing. Like other NOBARS alums, Penny was provided with medial care, love, and basic training—her temporary home even potty-trained her!
For Jessica, it didn't matter whether her adoptive dog “came from my hometown or from across the world.”
“What was important," she stresses, “was that I gave a dog in need a home.” Robin Tennis, an executive member of NOBARS, couldn’t agree more, noting that “the majority of our adopters... believe that an animal should be safe, warm, fed, and treated kindly, regardless of which side of the border they reside.”
“The work they do in Mexico alone is reason enough to like them,” Jessica continues, “but what is also incredibly important is how they handle the adoption process. It’s a big and stressful step for a lot of families, so having an amazing team behind the cause makes a world of difference. There were a few dogs I was interested in, but funny enough, Penny (formally Gala) wasn’t one of them. The dog I was initially interested in found a home, but NOBARS was dedicated to ensuring I found the perfect dog. They recommended I check out a video of Penny on their Facebook page and I fell in love.”
Penny has adapted to Canadian life “seamlessly,” and that “only a week after I brought her home, we were going on off-leash walks on the beach,” Jessica enthuses.
For NOBARS, it’s all “quality over quantity,” says Robin. “We owe the dog the very best and we owe it to our rescuers to ensure their dog is safely adopted.”
Interested in volunteering, adopting, or transporting a dog back from Mexico?
Find out more at nobordersanimalrescuesociety.ca.