Dog News

Odd Train Passenger Becomes Social Media Star and Gets Rescued

by Katherine

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

Street dogs are very common in many South American countries but a dog that knows how to use public transportation and successfully avoid authorities is not something you see everyday. In Valparaiso, Chile, there is one special dog that learned to use the Merval train. This stray dog slept on the train, didn’t bother other human commuters and evaded train security when officers approached him to kick him off the train.

We recently reported on a dog that boarded a Staten Island bus and we also told you about the stray Russian dogs that commute to work using the subway, well, this lucky Chilean canine won the hearts of many commuters who made him a social media star. The dog, now named Pepe Merval, had his adventures chronicled on the web. The four-legged commuter was rescued by Leonor Zamora, a Merval worker, and is awaiting his forever home.

Pepe became a social media sensation when Yamal Chahuán tweeted a picture of the then stray dog sleeping on the train. The image shows the dog taking two seats while people stand around him, allowing him a much deserved uninterrupted rest.

Photo Credit: Yamal Chahuán


YouTube user Carlos Javier Farias Pozo uploaded a video of Pepe and in it you can see how train security kicked off the canine passenger but the dog comically evaded the officers and quickly hopped on the next wagon.


Zamora told BioBioChile the dog was rescued due to the outpouring concern animal lovers had for him.

“On June 22, 2013, local commuters, animal rescuers and Merval’s train security helped rescue the dog,” said Zamora.

He was taken to Farmavet Veterinarian Center (Irarrázaval 634) where he was neutered and given medication for a minor bacterial skin infection.

Zamora is fostering the dog until a forever family comes forward to adopt him.

“Pepe is a great dog, he behaves very well,” said Zamora. “He loves to sleep and walks perfectly on a leash. He is very docile. It seems Pepe realized he has a nice bed and plenty of food here with me, that he forgot all about his freedom as a stray.”

So far two interested individuals have inquired about the dog but nothing has been finalized. Farmavet is collecting donations to cover food and medical costs. You can email [email protected] for more information.

Anyone interested in adopting the dog should contact Leonor Zamora at 8383-8644.