TAPACHULA, Mexico – Travelling aboard a cargo tricycle, Edgardo Zuñiga has travelled across Mexico rescuing stray dogs.
His journey started July 17, 2013, and since then he has travelled across half of the country in search for dogs that do not have owners and are wandering the streets.
Edgardo’s adventure has taken him to the southern state of Chiapas, bordering Guatemala, accompanied by 14 dogs he rescued who are now his travel companions.
Wearing clothes that people donate to him, he keeps riding day and night with one mission in mind: to provide a better life for these animals, many of which were abandoned or abused by humans.
For Edgardo, 48, his journey represents a sacrifice through which he wishes to send a message to society.
“Dogs from many different parts of Mexico accompany me, who lived on the street and nobody wanted to adopt,” he told EFE.
Now, those dogs are part of his “dog-rescue team,” showing “other dogs how to trust people.”
The animal rights activist has rescued more than 400 stray dogs since he began his journey.
Edgardo, know to many as “dog man,” travels on his tricycle carrying food, water, extra clothes, as well as some medicine for the dogs.
According to Edgardo, his journey seeks to “open people’s minds.”
“I don’t ask for anything in return. I just want people to see what these faithful animals can do for human beings,” he said.
During his journey, Edgardo not only seeks to rescue stray dogs, but also to put many up for adoption.
Dogs, he says, “are filled with love and the need to protect, but it is also important that we protect them.”
Animal cruelty is a criminal offense in roughly half of Mexico’s 32 states, including Mexico state, Guanajuato, Jalisco and Michoacan.
For Edgardo, however, avoiding animal abuse largely depends on instilling a culture of respect for animal welfare.