Resilient Chihuahua Finds Forever Home after Tragic Accident

Just before Thanksgiving, a small dog was hit by a car in Lakewood. A Good Samaritan saw the accident and contacted our amazing Animal Control Officers to respond to the scene.

Badly injured by the crash, the dog had multiple areas of road rash, cuts, bruises, and broken teeth. The most significant injury, however, was severe: a head injury leading to neurological damage.

“When the Animal Control Officer brought him to us, the dog was unable to stay upright and was rolling uncontrollably,” recalls Dr. Emily Hays, Chief Veterinarian and Director of Healthcare Services at Foothills Animal Shelter.

“His eyes were moving back and forth quickly out-of-control and he was not very responsive,” she said.

Immediately set up in the Shelter’s ICU area with care, the little guy, who needed to be propped between two stuffed penguins to remain upright, began to make his remarkable recovery.

“And that’s, of course, how he got the name Penguin!” said Dr. Hays.

With no one coming forward to claim Penguin, this brave Chihuahua mix stayed in the care of Foothills Animal Shelter until he was well enough to continue his healing at a foster home. The Shelter is thrilled to have a wide and compassionate network of foster families willing to open their homes to a

new family member, even for just a short time. Penguin, however, caught the eye of a staff member and wound up in a foster office, not a foster home.

“He spent each day in my office and rested quietly at night in the surgical center,” said Penguin’s office foster parent, Tiffany Hurst, Director of Administration at Foothills Animal Shelter.

Over time, Penguin got stronger and gained his mobility back, and started to eat and gain weight.

“He even started to grab toys and want to play,” adds Hurst.

With some rest, TLC, and the incredible care of Foothills’ staff, Penguin was ready to be adopted in almost no time. Penguin, the littlest survivor, went home in mid-December, just in time to celebrate the holidays in his new forever home.


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