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The heartwarming story of how a woman spent weeks gaining the trust of 2 homeless dogs in order to rescue them

INSIDER logoINSIDER 5/16/2018 sschmalbruch@businessinsider.com (Sarah Schmalbruch)

a dog sitting in the grass: The Abandoned Ones Rescue Dogs © Provided by Business Insider Inc The Abandoned Ones Rescue Dogs There are plenty of times when dogs have saved human lives, but sometimes it's the humans that are doing the saving.

That was the case when Judy Obregon, the founder of animal rescue organization The Abandoned Ones (TAO) in Fort Worth, Texas, was notified about a homeless German shepherd near Echo Lake Park. Obregon told INSIDER that she received a phone call from a police officer about an abandoned German shepherd that had been wandering around the park.

From the first time Obregon saw the dog, she knew this was going to be difficult rescue, as she said it was elusive. She chose not to set up a trap to capture the dog since traps tend to scare most animals. Instead, she started going to the park every morning at 4.45 a.m. just to watch the dog and feed her — in other words, play the dog's game. 


"In order for me to capture them, I have to become a stray," Obregon told INSIDER. "So I live their lives... I can't just go up and grab her, so you begin to study every routine."

Although it took time, Obregon could tell she was making progress.

"She would give me this look like she was terrified, but she was thinking. She was debating, do I trust this woman? She's giving me food," Obregon told INSIDER of the German shepherd.

After three weeks of gently coaxing the dog and studying its every move, Obregon reached the point where she could leave her car and approach the shepherd without her running away. Then one day, the shepherd ushered out a fellow homeless dog — a pit bull whose face was covered in wounds. The dog approached Obregon happily, wagging its tail. 

"It was almost like she [the German shepherd] was like, OK you're going to take me, but you're going to take him [the pit bull] too. This is my buddy, he's been protecting me," Obregon said.

a close up of a dog: Pitbull Rescue Dog 2 © Provided by Business Insider Inc Pitbull Rescue Dog 2 The pit bull's eagerness made Obregon realize that this rescue would have to happen quickly. She had a feeling that the wounds on his face were from another dog, indicating that he might have been used as a bait dog — a dog that serves as bait for other dogs in illegal fights. While the German shepherd would have been unlikely to get caught by a stranger, the pit likely would have walked right into anyone's arms.

A couple days later, Obregon successfully rescued both dogs, and she said the pit bull was the key to getting the German shepherd to come with her.

Related slideshow: 10 Myth-Busting Realities About Shelter Dogs (Provided by POPSUGAR)

"There's this part where he's ready to go, and he turns around and looks at her, and it's almost like he's saying come on, she's taking me too, she's taking both of us, let's go, what are you waiting for?"

After the rescue, both dogs were taken to the vet. Iris, the German shepherd, had a cyst and tumor removed during her spay surgery. Clover, the pit bull, was neutered and is on antibiotics. The wounds on his face are healing. Obregon said that the dogs need around one to two months of foster care before they're ready for adoption. 


The best part about the rescue, Obregon said, was being able to hold a dog who at first would only run from her. She said there's no sadder thing than seeing how a homeless dog lives, and puts a lot of faith into her rescuing abilities.

"I think the more people tell me you can't catch her — oh I'm going to get her," Obregon said.

Related video: Vet keeps homeless dogs healthy (Provided by USA TODAY)

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