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San Diego man rescuing stray dogs from streets of Tijuana

Brian started the non profit after a horrible motorcycle accident and now dedicates his life to the dogs.

SAN DIEGO — For a San Diego man, the idea of rescuing thousands of dogs came to him in a dream. 

In this Zevely Zone, I spent a day with We Saved a Puppy Animal Rescue. The non-profit organization's founder Brian Bovenzi told us a few weeks ago in Tijuana he found a box filled with dogs with a sign that read "Free Puppies".  The San Diego resident rescued the whole litter. "I do it out of a place of complete love," said Brian. 

He started his non-profit called 'We Saved a Puppy Animal Rescue' in 2019 and spends most his time in Tijuana. "Last week I was there on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday," said Brian who knows how it feels to need a helping hand.

Credit: CBS 8

"It broke my lower extremities in 36 different places," said Brian about a horrible motorcycle accident he suffered in 2008. "I broke my neck, dislocated both shoulders," said Brian who following the crash had a vivid dream that he was recuing animals in Mexico. "I woke up and I grabbed the first notebook I could find," said Brian. 

He wrote it all down and decided to live his life with a new purpose. During our interview, his phone rang. "Your dog got run over last night, I am sorry to hear that," said Brian. When he's not rescuing homeless dogs in Mexico, he's taking injured animals from the US across the border for care he says can be 90% more affordable. "Yeah, we do spinal cord surgeries, MRI's, knee replacement surgeries," said Brian.  

Credit: We Saved a Puppy Animal Rescue

His mission is to provide medical attention, shelter, food, and find loving homes for abandoned and stray animals. Brian wants to open animal sanctuaries and hospitals around the world. 

Everywhere Brian goes his Chihuahua rescue Lizzie the Lizard follows. On this day, Brian also had a puppy named Kit Kat in tow. The puppy is another Tijuana rescue in need of a family. "He came from a litter of eight and sadly all of them got parvo virus and he was the sole survivor," said Brian who is also studying to become a veterinarian.

Credit: CBS 8

"Yes, that is my dream, once I have enough money for the non-profit, I want to go back to school to become a veterinarian," said Brian who has 165,000 followers on TikTok. 

During our interview at a dog park in Ocean Beach, Brian was approached by two dog owners. "I follow you on social media and I am so grateful that you are picking up animals," said Barbara Yoes and Susan Gates who were star struck by the man who has a heart that knows no borders. "We need more guys like you," said Susan. "I mean a lot of people can't take the time to be so devoted to saving animals," said Barbara.  

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Brian does it all on a shoestring budget. "A lot of times we have to chip in to keep this thing going," said Brian. "I just love animals." It's ironic really, that all of this came to Brian in a dream. I asked him to name the one thing he wasn't doing for animals. "Not getting a lot of sleep," laughed Brian.

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Brian told us the number of stray dogs and cats has increased quite a bit on the streets of Tijuana. Many of the animals are friendly, hungry, and abandoned pets. If you'd like to adopt Kit Kat or learn more about how you can help 'We Saved a Puppy Animal Rescue' click here or call 877-787-7728.

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