TIJUANA (Border Report) — When Mexican police and National Guard troops recently discovered the starting point of a cross-border tunnel under a house in Tijuana, they also found an abandoned watchdog.

The soldiers who were ordered to guard the property took a liking to the animal and began feeding and taking care of it.

With images of the dog on the news and in newspapers on both sides of the border, people began calling it “narco dog.”

But the soldiers decided to name it something else: Fiscal.

As the investigation went on, the dog seemed to grow closer and closer to the soldiers and vice versa.

The troops could be seen playing and petting Fiscal as they stood guard and as they walked the neighborhood.

So when their assignment ended and the investigation wrapped up, they found it hard to say goodbye to their canine friend.

The dog was turned over to a shelter where it remains to this day.

The facility is operated by Rescue Me Tijuana.

“We don’t know if the owner will want to reclaim him,” said Carmen Villarreal, an animal rights advocate and attorney for an animal rights group in Mexico.

Villarreal is overseeing Fiscal’s case.

“He’s not human but has rights and we need to guarantee his wellbeing at any cost,” said Villarreal. “The dog can’t leave the country, the city of Tijuana nor the shelter.”

Villarreal said the courts will decide if and when the dog can be adopted.

In the meantime, she says they will begin the process of looking for someone who might want the animal.

Carmen Villarreal is an attorney for an animal rights group based in Mexico. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report)

Fiscal will also be neutered before he leaves the shelter.

“We can probably start looking for a place for him but it can’t go anywhere,” said Villarreal. “Once the judge makes a decision, we’ll find a good family for the dog.”