After trekking through ten countries and navigating the needlessly complicated and bureaucratic immigration system, the Urbaez family from Venezuela were told that they would have to leave their beloved pit bull, Max, behind at the U.S. border. Sweet Max had stayed by their side through every part of their harrowing journey, and then he was ripped away from them as the family's children wept.
Luckily, Max was eventually reunited with the Urbaezes. But they are among the lucky ones – many pets are tragically turned away at the border, separated from their forever families. There is no reason Border Patrol can't find a way to help families like Max's stay with their beloved pets!Sign now to demand Border Patrol remove their pointless pet protocols and train agents and officers to prioritize keeping families united with their companion animals!
The most outrageous part of this story is that Max placed in an animal shelter where he was likely terrified and confused, and only after that was he reunited with his family, who depended on the kindness of strangers to help them locate him.
Sometimes, quarantine protocol is temporarily necessary, to ensure that dogs get adequate vaccines and don't harm other animals before they are confirmed to be healthy. But this case proves that the separation policy between people and pets at the border is not always based on logic, but often purely enacted out of cruelty. Why couldn't Border Patrol have coordinated with the family and animal shelters or agencies, so that Max and the Urbaezes didn't have to go through such turmoil?
The U.S. Border Patrol has a long, well-documented history of engaging in acts of terror against people simply trying to survive through migration. From destroying
water jugs left by community organizations to riding horses and chasing
refugees, this story is just the latest in a series of investigations which proves that Border Patrol is not interested in treating migrants like human beings. And this is not the first time that Border Patrol has needlessly separated people from their loved ones – human or non-human. Clearly, if this family wasn't deeply attached to their dog, they would not have brought them along on a multi-country, multi-continent trip to seek asylum in the United States. There is no excuse for this traumatic separation between family and pet. We cannot let another family go through what this one went through with Max! Sign now to tell Border Patrol: remove these unnecessary protocols and train your agents to keep families and pets together!