August 8, 2014 5:26 pm

Montreal family adopts rescue dog from Tijuana, Mexico

MONTREAL — Four months ago, Iggy the cocker spaniel was not the happy pup she is today. She was a stray on the streets of Tijuana, Mexico, just barely getting through each day.

“Her eye was literally hanging out of her head,” said Lisa Arturo of the L.A.-based animal rescue organization Hope For Paws.

“She was infested with fleas, she had parasites. She just wouldn’t have lasted out there.”

Animal rescuers in California found the young dog earlier this year. The animal rescue community being a small one, it wasn’t long before Iggy’s story fell into the right hands.

“We saw a picture of the condition she was in and our hearts just broke,” said Arturo.

She knew this dog had to be saved.

Iggy is finally back in Montreal after being adopted from Mexico and his new family want to encourage others to adopt too.

Martin Hazel/Global News

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Hope For Paws made arrangements to take in Iggy.

They provided her with extensive veterinary care, including surgery to remove her right eye. Iggy was placed in foster care while she adjusted to her new self.

After months of recovery, she was finally ready to find her new home.

“We were looking for someone who would love her for her entire life, who would stay with her, who would medically care for her no matter what she needed,” said Arturo.

They found that family almost 4,000 kilometres away in the home of Agi Szabo in Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

She was one of the many people across the U.S.A. and Canada who applied to make Iggy a part of their family.

Given the distance, Szabo was sceptical that she would be selected, but after a rigorous and lengthy process, she finally got the call she had been hoping for.

“I was just overjoyed, I knew she belonged with us,” Szabo told Global News.

But Iggy’s journey had only just begun. Now, the family had to get Iggy to Montreal. She boarded a plane in L.A. with Arturo and arrived in Montreal on Wednesday.

Iggy has been with Szabo and her daughter Hailie since that time, settling into her new life.

“Right now it’s all kind of surreal,” said Szabo.

It’s likely surreal for Iggy too who —  three countries, four months and thousands of miles later — has finally found her forever home.

WATCH: Hope For Pets encourages Quebec families to adopt pets and to volunteer in their local animal shelters.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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