Judy Obregon, of Texas, never expected that saving one stray dog would lead to years of dog rescues.
Obregon, 44, rescued her first dog from a local Texas “dumping ground” near Echo Lake in Fort Worth nearly seven years ago.
“I was driving down the service road [near the lake] and I spotted a stray. The stray led me to another dog that was injured," Obregon told InsideEdition.com.
Obregon spent the next week gaining the dog’s trust and feeding it daily until it finally decided to come with her. She was able to rescue the dog, which later healed and was adopted.
“Other people in the area started coming up to me [during that week] about other dogs that they’d seen. They gave me locations of dogs that had been dumped,” Obregon said.
She said she began finding tons of dead dogs in the area and so her journey of dog rescues began.
She was then inspired to start, “The Abandoned Ones Animal Rescue," a rescue organization that rescues dogs and then aspires to find them loving homes.
Since then, Obregon has rescued more than 300 dogs, she said.
Just last month, Obregon found Callie at the “dumping site” with a rope around her neck. She had escaped the fence she had been tied to and could barely walk, Obregon said.
“She walks up to me and puts her head in between my legs,” Obregon said.
In a video Obregon shared of Callie’s rescue, the pup takes one look back at where she was rescued from while Obregon is driving away and then kisses her rescuer.
Callie is currently living with a foster family and is doing much better.
Obregon said some of the abuse cases she's seen have been horrific.
In 2016, Obregon rescued a dog named Mercy, who she initially thought was dead when she saw her in her rearview mirror while driving along a deserted road.
"When I saw her lift her head, I turned around immediately. She was dragging both of her back legs. She just wagged and wagged despite the condition that I found her in,” Obregon said. “I think every animal I find out there. It’s almost like they are waiting for me."
Mercy had multiple leg fractures and the vet initially said she may not walk again. She was in a wheelchair for the first months of her recovery, but the courageous pup ended up healing. She has since been adopted.
Sadly, Obregon said she finds a lot more dogs dead than living.
“There are times I don’t even sleep when I find them dead. I found one recently dead last week that truly broke my heart. It was a tiny puppy that was found inside a bag. Someone had cut the dog’s chest open. It’s the worst case I’ve seen recently,” Obregon said.
She said that it's moments like that when she is encouraged to continue what she's doing.
Obregon’s motto for her organization is that "every animal matters."
“It’s not just about rescuing," Obregon said. "It’s about educating people to avoid these circumstances. I don’t think I can stop until I make a change in the area or make a big impact.”