PHOENIX — "Every dog is accounted for; they search it and do all the checks," says Erin Denmark, outreach coordinator, HALO Animal Rescue.
HALO Animal Rescue was on its way to save 35 dogs from Mexico on Thursday when the trip came to an unexpected halt.
"Quickly realized once we went to put fuel in the vehicle, and the vehicle poured out onto the cement, that we had a serious problem underneath the vehicle," says Heather Allen, president & CEO, HALO Animal Rescue.
A repair shop found several holes had been drilled into the gas tank; the driver's side mirror was also broken. HALO had to spend $2,500 in donations to make the repairs.
"This doesn't just impact us financially, it really does have a domino effect of how many animals we can save because every time there is a delay, that means other animals that really need that space within that shelter, like our partner shelters, are full," says Allen.
This isn't the first time HALO has been targeted, they say vandals damaged their vans and facility a few months ago. Someone also tried to steal gas from them just last week.
"You can definitely see a person crawling underneath the van, but we have installed more cameras," says Allen.
HALO works with an organization in Mexico to make dog transports every two weeks. Many of them are living on the streets, with neglect or abuse-type injuries.
"Seen quite a few dogs with burns on them," says Allen.
That is why these transports are so crucial and must be done properly.
"Whatever van we tell U.S. Customs and Border Protection we're driving, we have to bring that particular van. So, it wasn't something where we could just swap it out," says Allen.
HALO is not letting this setback get them down. They say the van is now fixed and workers plan to head to Mexico Friday morning to complete their dog rescue mission.
HALO Rescue is accepting donations.