Chihuahua with broken legs left at animal shelter winning hearts, healing

08/15/2014 5:49 AM

08/15/2014 6:00 AM

A tiny Chihuahua reportedly pushed from a porch is headed for foster care and recovery.

The year-and-a-half-old female weighing in at two pounds, eleven ounces was turned in to the Horry County Animal Care Center with no name, two broken legs, and a brief history that stated she was injured from falling off a porch after being bullied by bigger dogs, according to animal care center officials.

“Her front legs have been broken for a while”, said Kelly Bonome, Operations Manager for the center.

According to the center’s protocol regarding intake procedures, the dog’s fate was sealed and euthanization was the only option.

“We (normally) don’t have the ability or funds to send the animals out (to rescue organizations),” said Bonome.

But, Bonome said the decision to save the dog, who she’s been calling “Little Bit” came after Bonome took one look and “saw her little spirit,” she said.

As operations manager, an ongoing and daily part of Bonome’s job is to make the decision to euthanize and it is one made simply because the center can’t afford to treat an animal with health issues or injuries.

Bonome also said she can’t save every animal, but she stays focused on the mindset of “If I can save just one.”

For Bonome and her staff, “Little bit” became that one, and parting with her meant the chance to provide the care she needed by getting other people involved then transferring her to a rescue shelter.

After an initial visual inspection done in-house at Horry County Animal Center revealed she was in over-all good health and “not suffering or in any pain,” Bonome said Friends of HCACC agreed to assist with getting the dog on her road to recovery.

“Thankfully, we have a good working relationship with the rescues in this area,” Bonome said.

Bonome said calls from people interested in fostering “Little Bit” began pouring in as word about her plight spread.

“She’s melted hundreds of people’s hearts already,” said Friends of HCACC founder and president Debbie Saxon.

Friends of HCACC was formed as a continuance of the volunteer work Saxon had been doing for the center.

According to their website, Saxon has been posting all adoptable pets on Pet Pardons Facebook page since Sept. 2011.

For “Little Bit” life is getting better each day. She left Bonome’s care at the center on Thursday when Jodie Burnette picked her up.

“She’s so precious, we’ve all fallen in love with her,” said Burnette, a volunteer at HCACC and first time fosterer.

She will be fostered by Burnette as she undergoes treatment beginning with a veterinarian appointment next week to evaluate and determine the course of treatments she will need to fully recover.

Bonome said x-rays are expected along with trips to Charleston for veterinary care. Friends of HCACC will cover the cost of the expenses and is hoping the community will donate to offset and assist with her care.

Without the strength yet to walk on her back legs, the dog is being kept comfortable, if not spoiled, until she leaves for her new home.

“She likes to be held and we have been hand feeding her,” said Bonome.

“Little Bit” will remain in a temporary home while she’s being treated and a family is found who will adopt her.

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