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  • Writer's pictureAnimal-Kind International

AKI: Helping in Honduras

Helping Hands for Hounds of Honduras has been an AKI partner organization since 2007--since the start of AKI.

We think of Pilar, founder of HHHH, as a miracle worker, an angel watching over dogs and cats. When you read these rescue stories (including Molly's-in the picture above)--a compilation of some we've received from Pilar between 2009-2012, you'll see why. We have many more stories of incredible and heartwarming rescues on the HHHH page and in the HHHH photo album on the AKI website.

AKI funds from our donors cover dog and cat food, vet care including spay/neuter, and maintenance costs of the HHHH sanctuary (officially called the Nereida Montes de Oca Refugio--see the HHHH page to find out how the sanctuary got its name). Because of AKI donors, Pilar has been able to rescue and provide care for so many dogs and cats.

Hit by a car

Molly and Bootsy

During the first week of October 2012, Molly and Bootsy (photo above) were both struck by cars in Tegucigalpa, Honduras’s capital city. They were both left where they had been hit, at the side of the road.

A security guard rescued Molly from the street and put her under a tree. Someone had told the security guard to call Pilar at HHHH for assistance.

Another security guard rescued Bootsy from where she was struck, and called Isabel Mencia, “the cat lady,” who Pilar works with. Isabel then called Pilar.

Both dogs ended up at the HHHH sanctuary. Both were checked by a vet, spayed, and vaccinated. Bootsy is is young and active. We hope she'll find a loving adoptive home. Molly, who when rescued, was close to 10 years old, will have to have her front leg amputated. Pilar doubts that she will find a home in Honduras, so Molly has a permanent place at the HHHH sanctuary, to live out her life in a loving and secure environment.

AKI funds covered the care of Molly and Bootsy, including Molly’s amputation and after care and their spay surgeries.


Ali the boxer

Ali is a boxer whose owner brought him to the vet to be euthanized. Rather than euthanize him, the vet asked Pilar to keep him while he was going through exploratory surgery and X-rays to try to discover why he regurgitates non-stop. He weighed only 31 lbs., very slim for a boxer, when he was dropped at the vet clinic.

After testing, they found he has mega-esophagus.

Ali’s specialized care costs about an extra $100/month! Every month, he needs:

2 bottles of 50 cc of 2% atropine/month=$15.00 (atropine every three hours to control vomiting and excessive salivation!) and 1 1/2 boxes of 100 - 1cc syringes/month=$9.00; a total of $24 for meds;

Oatmeal ($9), powdered milk ($18), 30 eggs ($4), and 30 cans dog food ($45)=$76 for special food.

Not to mention the significant time it takes Pilar to provide this special care for Ali! Ali is now fine, 59 pounds, and he can remain at Pilar’s sanctuary for the rest of his life—knowing that AKI donors are here to help dogs in need like Ali!


Lucio was found collapsed in the street by a dear friend of Pilar's, Guillermo Yuscaran (author, painter and dog lover), in Sta. Lucia (that is why Pilar named him Lucio). Guillermo called Pilar to pick the dog up. Lucio is an old dog, the size of a German shepherd with longish brownish black fur. When he was rescued, he was extremely thin with mange and lots and lots of lice and ticks. He was as close to death as any dog Pilar had ever rescued. After antibiotics, several brushings and washes to remove the lice and ticks and lots of food, he gradually got better. He can walk and even run a little, is free of lice and ticks, and has put on a nice amount of weight.


An all black mixed breed, Tunco has only a small piece of his tail. He had been hit by a car and was laying down on the median when Pilar rescued him. He was at the sanctuary for 6 months and then a friend of a friend of Pilar’s whose house was robbed a couple of times adopted him. He’s much more of a pet than a guard dog though. He’s very intelligent and full of energy, very friendly with people but an alpha dog with dogs.


Gusano is a small male, the size of a cocker spaniel but with short hair. He is brown, black and white. Pilar was called because a dog had been hit by a car in front of the Natural Resources Ministry and had been there crying for about 5 days. Pilar took her nieces, daughters of Nereida (who Pilar’s sanctuary is named in memory of), and went to pick up the dog. He had large, bleeding wounds on both knees where he had tried to drag himself. He was completely flattened with all four legs sticking out at right angles from his body. He smelled of urine, was very dehydrated and very thin and aggressive. Pilar and her nieces put him in the car, but had to stop to inject him with pain killers because he was crying so much. After lots of food and water (apparently no one had given him either), he started to crawl around (from there his name) and finally after 4 days he tried to stand but could not sustain his weight. He began to walk after a week but he moved his hind legs very gingerly. He is friendly, wags his tail all the time, has put on weight and now walks fine.

So many rescues--and we haven't even gotten to the cats yet!

Here are just a few more rescues from 2009-2012; not all of them are still with us, but they all were rescued and given the love and kindness that most of them missed in their lives before arriving at the HHHH sanctuary:

Briana arrived at the sanctuary with no hair, an injured back leg and cancer. She was abandoned at UNAH (the university) and was very thin and had mange, but put up no fight when rescued. She is an older dog with no front teeth. Her cancer has gone into remission with chemotherapy and she is now fat and furry and she now uses her back leg.

Janu is a small brown and white dog who was rescued by a student after a car hit her and tore all the flesh off her back leg exposing the bones. The vet cleaned the wound and sewed up what he could since several muscles had been ripped. Her leg has healed but she still limps, but she is very active.

Suyapa is a very energetic dog. She was found in the middle of the four lane highway running by UNAH in front of the Suyapa cathedral. She jumps up on the fence or on top of Pilar’s car to survey the neighborhood and see if anything exciting is happening. She has to be in the middle of everything and is one of the favorites of the volunteers at the sanctuary.

Muneca is an older, small, cocker mix. She has been at the sanctuary about 10 years. A gardener found her wandering on the street near the university. She was thin but otherwise healthy. She has nursed several abandoned kittens and puppies over the years. She is very laid back and calm.

Colita is a female, tailless dog (her name in Spanish means small tail), who was covered with lice and extremely emaciated. She had been run over at the university when Pilar was still working there, and was brought to Pilar by a caring rescuer.

Sadie is an old, large mutt, who had been run over near UNITEC University. She was in such bad shape, thin and malnourished left to die by side of road. She’s an old girl, large shepherd size.

Samir is a young dog and very big and tall. He is light brown and seems to have some Great Dane in him. He was abandoned in the Central Park of Tegucigalpa, very thin, with an injured back leg from some kind of trauma (hit by car, kicked, or something else), and also covered in lice (but nothing like Lucio who needed a week of brushings and baths to remove all of his lice). He is a sweet dog, but his back leg still acts up causing him to stumble. Samir has been adopted-picture below!

Nancy (named after Pilar’s mom) is a black dog with a white muzzle with a huge Sticker sarcoma who had 8 puppies under a car during a rain storm. Five of the puppies died, two were adopted, and one, Kesia, is still at the sanctuary. Nancy has undergone chemotherapy and has recovered from her cancer and put on lots of weight. After being spayed, she was taken back to where she was found.

Felipe, Charamusca, Vago, Pancho, and Blackie-happy at the HHHH sanctuary till the very end

Felipe (below) was rescued with the help of two of Pilar's ex-students, one biologist and one psychologist, from the parking lot of the San Felipe hospital in Tegucigalpa. He had an aggressive cancer that was eating him up. He had 5 major surgeries. "He was the sweetest old pit bull ever," Pilar said. He eventually had to be euthanized after about a year at the Refuge due to the cancer. He was content and had a good life even with his troubles.

Charamusca was found as a stray in a deplorable state. She smelled terrible with infected mange and she was pregnant. Once she had her puppies and was healthy, Pilar had her spayed. She died of natural causes in December 2010.

Vago was a huge, terrier mix, about 70 lbs., and completely blind. He was wandering the streets near vet Orlando’s office, full of mange, ectoparasites, and emaciated. Vago died of old age and possibly a heart attack. He was at the sanctuary for 6 years and was about 14 years old.

Pancho was a little brown dog with a pretty face, brought to Pilar’s sanctuary at the end of October 2009 by a student. He had a broken back. He stayed at the sanctuary until he died in October 2011. He was a favorite of many of the visitors to the sanctuary. Pilar told us: He was a real character!!! He never allowed his disability to affect him. He loved all people and only wanted all the attention for himself and he loved to eat, especially people food.

Blackie was a 10 or 11 year old mixed breed that looked a little like a Papillon, and weighed only about 10 lbs. He was blind in one eye. Pilar rescued him from a trash can at the university. He was very thin and covered with ticks (the fat female ticks, they call patacones in Honduras). Three students and Pilar worked on him for about 2 hours, pulling the ticks off—they were in bunches all over him, and looked more like tumors than ticks! Blackie lived a few more years at the sanctuary. Pilar and the volunteers all miss his funny face, bat ears, and grouchy personality.


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