The dog had no shade and had clearly not eaten in weeks.
“He said ‘there’s this dog that doesn’t look so great down on the beach’,” said Richardson.
She went back with her husband to look at the dog and at first she thought the dog was dead.
“Tops the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Richardson. “I looked at her and I touched her, when I was walking up to her I thought she was dead.”
Sandy, as she was later called, is a pit bull cross and was hours from death. She had been laying on the beach in the hot sun for days with no one paying any attention to her. She could no longer move or stand but had tried to keep herself alive by eating tree bark.
Richardson said she knew she had to help, but she didn’t know what to do.
So she reached out to her friend and business partner, Holly Eely. The two run the charity Best Friends For Life, which helps to feed dogs and cats that belong to homeless people in the Downtown Eastside.
Eely was able to get in contact with the Puerto Vallarta SPCA, which only has room for about 75 dogs, but currently have about 100 dogs in their care.
But they did not hesitate to pick up Sandy the next morning.
“She was nowhere to be found and we were really worried she had died under the deck or something,” said Richardson. But Sandy was picked up by the SPCA and taken to the shelter. She had a severe tick infestation and could barely hold her head up. She has also recently had puppies, but it is unknown what happened to them.
“The condition she’s in, no matter how much she ate, she would never gain weight,” said Richardson.
Sandy is now getting the care she needs and when she is strong enough she will be shipped to Canada to be put up for adoption.
“It’s just a matter of getting the dogs out of the sanctuary so they can bring more in,” said Richardson.
“Our heart breaks for those animals on the streets. There should be no borders. There should be no discrimination against a dog.”
Sandy will need about four to six months of recovery but Richardson wants to use her story to bring awareness to the plight of dogs in Mexico.
She wants people to think about adopting a dog from Mexico when they are looking for a canine friend, even though there are dogs that needs homes in Canada.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” she said of seeing the dogs in Mexico and not knowing what to do. “You’re caught between a rock and a hard place.”