Local residents help support dog and cat rescue organization in Tijuana


“One paw at a time.” That’s the motto of Tijuana-based animal rescuer Wendy Alvarez. It’s also the motto that spurred many local residents to donate to her dog and cat rescue, Tijuana Paws and Whiskers Rescue, recently.

Residents in Carmel Valley and Del Mar first learned of Alvarez’s organization through a post on community website nextdoor.com, made by former Carmel Valley resident Gina Downey.

Downey first encountered Alvarez’s story on Instagram and was immediately moved to help, setting up a website, tjpaw.org, to spread the word and garner donations. She is also establishing the rescue as a non-profit organization.

Wendy Alvarez, right, founder of Tijuana Paws and Whiskers Rescue, with kitten Coco Chanel, who is available for adoption.

Wendy Alvarez, right, founder of Tijuana Paws and Whiskers Rescue, with kitten Coco Chanel, who is available for adoption.

“Gina has been a huge blessing to me and my rescue,” says Alvarez, who recently moved from San Diego to Tijuana to dedicate her life to rescuing stray animals. “I will be forever grateful.”

Downey also galvanized the local community, through her heartfelt Nextdoor post, requesting help. Despite the difficulties many currently face, Carmel Valley and Del Mar neighbors instantly stepped up to help. Within a short time, many responded with generous donations, supplies, and offers of help.

“There is nothing I can say to express how grateful I am to everyone,” says Alvarez. “I wish I could thank each person with a huge hug and tell them that they may not be physically rescuing, but spiritually they are by my side.”

Mother dog

Mother dog with litter of puppies delivered immediately following rescue. All are now available for adoption.

As the sole founder, Alvarez knows first-hand the emotional and financial difficulties of rescuing animals. She was recently forced to use the savings earmarked for her upcoming wedding to help fund her rescue.

But even with her wedding plans now on hold, Alvarez is undeterred. She says that, with the continued support of the community, she will continue to rescue as many animals as she can.

“People can help by donating desperately-needed funds for vet treatments for sick and injured animals, as well as spaying and neutering,” she says. “100% of your donation will help animals in need.”

Priority items also needed include wet kitten food, blankets, cat litter, puppy food, tick repellent collars or sprays, used or new crates and play pens, and puppy pee pads.

A beautiful rescued cat.

A beautiful rescued cat.

Alvarez currently has many animals awaiting their “fur-ever homes,” including a large litter of puppies, born to a female dog within hours of her rescue. She also has many kittens, dogs and cats available. Adoption and fostering applications are available through her website below. Alvarez is patiently hopeful that they will find good homes. “The solution,” she says, “is one paw at a time.”

Donations are accepted via Cashapp, Paypal and Venmo, and an Amazon wishlist. Visit the Tijuana Paws and Whiskers Rescue website tjpaw.org or check out @tjpawrescue on Instagram for details.