You can’t blame Chiquita (a chihuahua dog) for having trust issues. After all, she was 15 years old when her family dropped her off at a California animal shelter.
Although she was blind, Chiquita must have felt her world get a whole lot bigger, and unimaginably more terrifying.
“She can’t even see her surroundings and has to go by smell,” Toby Wisneski, founder of Leave No Paws Behind, shares. “And 99 per cent, it is the smell of death.”
The trouble is many people who surrender dogs to a shelter — especially those with health issues — see it as an act of mercy.
“You can almost count on every senior in the shelter, no matter what, they are in there for a reason, normally a medical reason,” Wisneski says. “I do think some people believe when they take their senior animal (to a shelter) they are taken there to get euthanized and take them out of pain. But what people don’t realize is that doesn’t happen. They don’t do that. They stick them in a cage in a kennel where they sit and suffer. Most people just walk right by them.”
But Wisneski isn’t most people.
When she heard about Chiquita’s plight on social media, she was reminded of another tiny dog she had rescued from a shelter just days earlier.
The dog, named Bonnie, didn’t live long outside of the shelter. Her health issues were just too much. But Wisneski says right up until the end, “that little dog, God bless her, kept wagging her tail.”
In honor of Bonnie, who was at least given a few days of warmth and love in the end, Wisneski decided to rescue Chiquita.