Every year, approximately 3.9 million dogs enter animal shelters nationwide — the main reasons being, reports DoSomething.org, that their owners have given them up or they're found homeless on the street. Unfortunately for 3-month-old Chewy, he is one of those dogs.
The 3-pound Chihuahua mix was found last week alone in a McCarran International Airport bathroom in Las Vegas. He was injured and accompanying him was a handwritten note from his owner — a woman apparently fleeing from an abusive relationship, The Dodo reports. She claims that under domestic violence's bitter circumstances, she had no choice but to leave him behind.
"Hi! I'm Chewy! My owner was in an abusive relationship and couldn't afford me to get on the flight," the note reads. "She didn't want to leave me with all her 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."
Once Chewy was discovered, he was taken to Connor and Millie's Dog Rescue, a foster-based local non-profit where he received medical attention for the bump on his head — a result of the violence his owner had written about. Chewy was then placed at a foster home where he currently resides.
"He was brought to the ER and given a once over, and he was found to have no serious injuries," Darlene Blair, Admin Director for CMDR, told GoodHousekeeping.com. "The next day he was taken to our regular vet, Town Center Animal Hospital, and given a full nose to tail evaluation, a flu shot and a fecal test to make sure he was ok. He will be given all his shots, microchipped and neutering in the next few weeks."
Although tragically separated from his previous owner, Chewy seems to be doing just fine in his temporary home.
According to FOX5 NEWS LAS VEGAS, airport security claims they would have actually found a way to get Chewy on the plane, had the owner came to them. "But," Blair offered, "when you're in that situation, you don't trust anybody."
Blair also said that in all her experience with animal rescue, this was the first time anyone had ever left a note.
While CMDR has not been able to get in with Chewy's owner, they're still hoping the woman will receive word that her pup is safe.
"Should I ever have with his mom, I would tell her what she did was a brave act of love," president and founder Linda Gilliam said. "There are people and agencies that want to help. I'd tell her Chewy can be returned if she should want that, and if not, he will have a great life."
Within hours of posting about Chewy on Facebook, news about him caught ablaze. People everywhere — from all over the world, actually — are sending the rescue facility requests for his adoption, which they are working tirelessly to respond to.
"Our vetting process is very intense," Blair said. According to her, CMDR does not do out-of-state or out-of-country adoptions. And since April 2016, the facility has saved 230 dogs and gotten approximately 200 of them adopted.
Earlier today, CMDR released a statement on Facebook disclosing that Chewy will be up for adoption in about 4 weeks.
Chewy, Blair said, is the exception to the rule — a lot of dogs who endure abuse have a tendency to "show extreme fear," but he is "a totally normal puppy." If a dog does show signs of trauma, Blair's best advice would be to not give up on them, that "they will come around with lots of patience and love."
We have no doubt that if he isn't reunited with his previous owner, this little guy will most definitely find the perfect home.
If you or someone you know is at risk of domestic violence or abuse, reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. If you are in danger, call 911. More information and resources are available at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence or the National Online Resource Center for Violence Against Women.
(h/t The Dodo)