An online petition was circulated about Rafael's story and the plight of horses, mules, donkeys and other animals forced to do hard labor under inhumane conditions in Juarez and around the world. Enrique Serrano, the mayor of Juarez, will be receiving 190,000 signatures demanding that a law be implemented in Juarez to protect these animals by requiring rest periods, adequate food and water and that they be harnessed humanely to carts in good working order.
On a bright September morning among the rolling, oak tree studded hills of Grass Valley, a truck pulling a horse trailer turned onto the driveway of the CAPE Animal Sanctuary. Watching with cameras pointed, two dozen people quietly welcomed Rafael to his new, permanent home.
When the trailer door opened, Rafael delicately stepped out. People whispered quietly clearly shocked at how thin he was. A small girl extended a carrot to him which Rafael gently nibbled. Walking slowly, Rafael explored his new home, meeting goats, burros and many CAPE volunteers.