In February 2015, volunteers from Family Dog Rescue found a stray dog wandering the streets of Tijuana, Mexico. The poor pup was emaciated, nearly hairless, and bleeding from multiple infected wounds.
Family Dog Rescue, located in San Francisco, California, was founded in 2010 by Angela Padilla. Padilla was a successful corporate lawyer until she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. She credits shelter dogs with helping her through her aggressive treatment, and decided to dedicate her life to helping them.
By the time her organization found Felipe in Tijuana, they had already saved thousands of homeless dogs. However, as time passed, he proved to be a special case. Would they ever be able to find this loving pup a forever home?
When volunteers found the stray dog they later named Felipe, he was on the brink of starvation. Combined with infected wounds and a bad case of mange, it looked like he didn't have much longer.
Sometimes, Felipe was able to find food left out by kind strangers. Other days, he simply went without.
Volunteers rushed the dying pup back to their headquarters in San Francisco, California, determined to save his life.
There was no way to know how long he'd been on the streets, but with nearly every bone in his body protruding from hunger, it looked like it had been quite a while.
With the help of the kind strangers, Felipe slowly started to put on weight.
Then his hair started to grow back! While all the volunteers loved Felipe, he had a special bond with Kelli McCoy, who is pictured below.
Over the next two years, Felipe made a miraculous recovery. He was healthy, strong, and even participated in a five-mile run with the Olympic Running Club every week.
Felipe was surrounded by love and affection from the volunteers at Family Dog Rescue. There was just one problem.
He still didn't have a forever home. Many dogs had come through the shelter, but no one had ever shown interest in adopting in Felipe.
In fact, he'd been there for so long that he had begun to receive mail from dog-lovers around the world.
On December 28, after nearly two years in the shelter, that all changed. A kind man came in looking for a dog to adopt and instantly fell in love with Felipe. As you can see, the feeling was mutual.