Chihuahuas and Domestic Abuse

What do domestic abuse and women’s shelters have to do with Chihuahuas?

When I attended BlogPaws 2017 one of the speakers told her experience of domestic abuse and having to go to a shelter for her own safety. Imagine her anguish when she had to give up her beloved cat because the shelter didn’t accept pets. Her decision was to live in her car rather than give up her cat.

Just imagine yourself in that situation. Maybe you have been or are now in an abusive situation. What would you do? I think I too would live in my car rather than give up the only things that truly loved me….. my precious Chihuahuas.

But what if you have no money to feed and care for them? What a horrible situation to be in!

This past week I came across a news story about a woman in an airport that was fleeing from her abusive husband. She had her precious Chihuahua Chewy with her, but she didn’t have enough money to buy a ticket for Chewy to get on the plane.

The Story of Domestic Abuse and Chewy

Who knows how this story began. All we know is what one brave and caring woman did to try to save herself and her little dog too. An International Airpost employee at the LosVegas Airport found a scared little 3-month-old Chihuahua mix in the airport bathroom with a heart-wrenching hand written note. This poor woman had already been through who knows what and she felt she had no other option but to leave Chewy behind hoping he would find a kind person to take care of him.

Chewy (pictured), a three-month-old Chihuahua, has found viral fame after being abandoned in Las Vegas. (Connor and Millie’s Dog Rescue CMDR/Facebook)

This woman not only saved her beloved Chihuahua but has brought renewed attention to the problem of domestic abuse and the victims with pets they can’t bear to part with.

Thousands of people from across the country have been touched by this woman’s story. This is what the note said:

The Note

“Hi! I’m Chewy! My owner was in an abusive relationship and couldn’t afford me to get on the flight,” the note read. “She didn’t want to leave me with all hear heart, but she has no other option. My ex-boyfriend kicked my dog when we were fighting and he has a big knot on his head. He probably needs a vet. I love Chewy sooo much — please love and take care of him.”

Chewy Gets Rescued

Luckily, the employee who found Chewy was also a volunteer at a local animal rescue. She asked Linda Gilliam, president of Connor and Millie’s Dog Rescue in Las Vegas if the shelter could take Chewy. Of course, she said yes!

“You could tell this wasn’t something [the dog’s owner] wanted to do,” Gilliam told CBS News. “This isn’t how she wanted this to end, but she did the best she could to try to save herself and him at the same time. Abusers — they have no limits.”

Chewy was first taken to a local animal hospital and was treated for a head and jaw injury. As he recovered, Gilliam posted his story on Facebook and it went viral. It had hundreds of shares and dozens of responses.

Within 5 days they had received nearly 1,000 applications from people across the country hoping to adopt the little four-pound dog. So many that the shelter is no longer accepting applications.

Re-Home or Find The Owner?

My first thought when I read the article was why not try to find the owner? Well, I wasn’t the only one that thought that (I’m sure you did too).

Gilliam gave the owner four weeks to claim Chewy. If she doesn’t come forward he will be given to another family who lives in the state. Gilliam said that she doesn’t expect the owner to ever be in a position to come forward.

She did a wonderful thing for little Chewy and I hope that she has seen all the publicity and knows that he is being well taken care of.

She did a wonderful thing for little Chewy and I hope that she has seen all the publicity and knows that he is being well taken care of.

Of course, for safety reasons Chewy’s current foster mom and location is not been made known, nor will the future family be named.

Domestic Violence In Spotlight Again

It is a very good thing that Chewy’s story has put domestic violence back in the spotlight, but this is something that happens every day. Victims are literally running for their lives with their pets and their children! Let’s not forget that and only think about it when stories like Chewy’s come to light.

I agree with Gilliam who said: “While I am very glad that Chewy, who is totally movie star material, is winning support from so many strangers, she also wants to remind potential dog owners that there are thousands of Chewys out there, that need a home.” Her shelter currently has more than 200 dogs looking for homes.

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“Consider adopting from local shelters and rescues, there are great dogs that are being overlooked and didn’t get all the media attention. They all have a story. I have a whole rescue full of dogs with stories.” ~ Linda Gilliam


Domestic Abuse Shelters And What You Can Do

Some women in Chewy’s owners postition don’t have friends or family that they can run to, or they may need a temporary place to stay until they can. Thankfully, there are now a few domestic abuse shelters that allow pets, but certainly not enough. Check your local domestic violence shelters to see if they allow pets. If not, you can write to your local congressman to have these laws changed.

There is help

There are websites that offer help. There is a list here:

Get Help

These are just a few websites that I found, there are more. Just “google” “domestic violence and pets”.

Please share this with anyone that you know that might need this information. You can share on social media by clicking on one of the icons below or you can copy and paste this link: and e-mail it to a friend. Thank you

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