Next to pit bulls, chihuahuas are the most overbred dogs in the United States, making them the second most euthanized breed.
Each day in rescue is heart wrenching and just when you think you have seen it all….along comes Story. Turned into the county shelter at 4 months of age, Story was a mess! Her eyes protruded from a skull that was too small for them, her rear legs were a tangled mess of underdeveloped bones with little muscle and her front legs were barely strong enough to hold up her tiny head and shoulders. Story was the result of overbreeding to get fashionably tiny “teacup” chihuahuas for sale. The continual breeding of smaller and smaller dogs to each other had resulted in a disaster for Story. Sadly enough, this was not our first encounter with the fallout from overbreeding. Scooter, another tiny Chihuahua, was surrendered to us in early 2016, born with no front legs. Scooter hit the jackpot as he was adopted by one of the veterinarians from Westside Veterinary Clinic, one of our partner vets. We would not get that lucky twice.
Story was seen by the specialist at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists to assess her condition. While she was otherwise healthy, he condition was so severe her rear limbs were useless. Tens of thousand of dollars and multiple surgeries might make a difference for her, but we are committed to several hundred dog and cats at any one time so that was not an option. The specialists felt like she could have a good quality of life with a wheelchair to support her useless rear legs, but first she needed to gain strength in her front legs. Her foster mom started water therapy for her to develop her muscles enough to be able to pull herself around with a cart or wheelchair. Story would need a “four wheeler” to start on her road to recovery. Generous people donated so that her first set of wheels could be ordered and she could be mobile. Story will be a SAVE dog until the right family comes along that is able to see to her future needs. Until then she is loved by her foster mom and all of us at SAVE.
SAVE fights every day so that more dogs like Story will not be born. We have an active community outreach program and our volunteers are constantly “trolling” social media to find low information/low income owners to educate about spaying and neutering their pets. We insist that all moms of puppies that we take into our rescue are spayed before we agree to place the puppies. We pay for the bulk of these surgeries ourselves and try to make sure all animals in the household are “fixed”! We cannot stop all the backyard breeding, but we will fight each day to eliminate the number of pets being bred for profit.