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( CNN) The humankind had desperation in his eyes while his three children held an ailing puppy in their limbs. At that minute, Sean Owens knew that he had to help.

Owens, a veterinarian and professor of clinical pathology in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, was doing volunteer work in the Baja region of Mexico in 2014 when the man came to him in hopes Owens could treat his children’s sick puppy.

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“His family had a special bond with this animal, especially their kids. The father look back me, and the appear he made — without us speaking Spanish together — basically mentioned, ‘I desire my children; my child loves this bird-dog; what can you do? ‘ ” Owens said.

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