Loyal Dog Waiting Outside Home Of Murdered Owner, Journalist Lourdes Maldonado, Rescued

Pets belonging to a murdered Mexican reporter, including her dog that waited outside their Tijuana home for her to return, have been rescued by activists, according to reports.

The cats and dog were rescued from the home of veteran reporter Lourdes Maldonado after she was shot dead in her car in the Santa Fe area of Tijuana, Baja California, on Sunday.

Among the rescued pets was Maldonado's pitbull-type dog "Chato," who went viral on Monday after being photographed waiting outside the murdered journalist's home for her return, according to ADN 40.

Since a photo of Chato was uploaded onto Reddit page r/pics, the accompanying post has been upvoted some 98,000 times.

Chato and the other pets were themselves recused from the streets by animal lover Maldonado, according to publication La Voz De Michoacán.

ADN 40 reported animal activist Xóchitl Zamora arrived outside Maldonado's home on Monday and rescued Chato as well as another dog and cats Maguana, Ulises and Rigoberto from the property.

According to the network, the animals were transferred to a nearby Canine Center and will be moved to a temporary home in the next few days.

A search for a permanent home will then be carried out in an effort to bring the pets to a new family.

Reporter Ines Garcia shared a heartbreaking moment before the pets were rescued where an unknown girl arrived outside Maldonado's home to feed the animals.

In a tweet in Spanish, Garcia said: "When the Prosecutor's Office and most of the media left the place where journalist Lourdes Maldonado was murdered last night, this remained.

"A girl went to leave food and water for the cats that the journalist rescued from the street."

Maldonado became a recognized face in Mexico for covering corruption and politics in the country and was widely known after working on the TV show Brebaje.

In 2019, Maldonado appeared at one of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's morning news conferences where she pleaded for help as she feared for her life.

Following Maldonado's murder, President Lopez Obrador promised a full investigation would be carried out, adding: "What happened is very regrettable."

Maldonado is the third reporter to be killed in Mexico this year with her death coming just days after photojournalist Margarito Martinez was fatally shot in the head outside his Tijuana home.

The Press Freedom Index (PFI), an annual ranking published by Reporters Without Borders, says Mexico is one of the most dangerous places for journalists to work.

It found Mexico currently ranks as 143rd out of 180 for press freedom as well as violence against journalists.

People holding signs with Lourdes Maldonado's name
Journalists and supporters hold signs as they protest the murders of their colleagues Lourdes Maldonado and Margarito Martinez, in front of the federal prosecutors building in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, on January 25, 2022. Maldonado's pets were rescued by animal rights activists. GUILLERMO ARIAS / Contributor/Getty