The Chile Pepper Challenge was held on October 1st, and the HSEP was honored and excited to be a part of it for the second year in a row. No one knew that a stray dog would wander into the event, in need of some of the happiness that happens at the HSEP.
The scene was a beautiful Sunday morning at Grace Gardens. Hundreds of cycling enthusiasts gathered for the largest cycling event in the area, the Chile Pepper Challenge. For the last two years the Humane Society of El Paso has partnered with the El Paso Bike Club to execute the Chile Pepper Challenge. Many have asked just what cycling has to do with animal rescue, and the truth is the partnership is more about the HSEP supporting its friends in the community, and vice versa.
Enter Chile Peppa: an underweight and fearful puppy. This pup wandered into the Chile Pepper Challenge shortly after the first cyclists took off at 7:00am. She was looking for food, and avoided humans as best she could. It took hours, and lots of snacks, to win the dog’s trust, but she was eventually caught by a group of cyclists and animal lovers.
Once caught, the dog’s demeanor changed; the fear seemed to melt away in the arms of a savior. Chile Peppa was picked up by a Humane Society of El Paso volunteer, and taken to safety.
Chile Peppa has come a long way in less than two weeks, and now wags her tail when she sees humans, walks well on a leash, and demands cuddles. Chile Peppa is just two years old, fixed, and eager to find her fur-ever home.
The Chile Pepper Challenge is an excellent opportunity for the community to come together, and Chile Peppa is proof of the lifesaving power of a community united.