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Three Chihuahua Puppies Born Without Front Legs Get a Second Chance at Life

North Shore Animal League America Rescues These Babies From Uncertain Future

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Media & Communications Department
Phone: (516) 883-7900, Ext. 482
Mobile: (516) 528-7878

June 1, 2007 (Port Washington, NY) --  Three Chihuahuas, each missing its front legs as the result of a birth defect, have been given a chance at life by North Shore Animal League America, the world's largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization. 

The 5 month-old puppies, two males and a female, were admitted at NSALA's partner shelter, the Martinsville-Henry County SPCA in Virginia.  Unable to care for or  train these special puppies, Leslie Hervey, SPCA Executive Director, reached out to the League, who quickly responded, safely transporting the puppies to its Port Washington, NY, headquarters where they were examined and evaluated by medical and training staff to determine the best way to ensure them comfortable and healthy lives. The League started them on their journey to well-being with the names Carmen, Pablo, and Venus.

The League's training staff has been working with Carmen, Pablo, and Venus to ascertain if they can be trained to walk on their hind legs. Two have already begun to hop, so the outlook is hopeful. Normal in every other way, the puppies seem unaware of their disability, with all able to balance themselves.

The League is investigating carts, or other apparatus, to assist the Chihuahuas in walking. Thus far, they have only been able to locate carts for pets with hind leg problems, so they are currently creating a device to assist the puppies' mobility until they are able to walk on their own.  The League is also seeking long-term and dedicated foster homes in the interim, while working with Carmen, Pablo and Venus until they can   be adopted into loving permanent homes.

"At North Shore Animal League America we are committed to saving the lives of homeless pets.  We believe that all pets deserve a chance at a long, healthy life, and these Chihuahua puppies are no exception." says Joanne Yohannan, Vice President, Operations and Emergency Rescue. She adds that Carmen, Pablo and Venus have not had the best start in life, and are likely to face challenges throughout their lives. 

"We are delighted to work with these precious pups at our Port Washington, NY Headquarters and will do everything in our power to enable them to eventually be adopted to loving homes where they can enjoy happy and healthy lives."

The Chihuahua puppies were surrendered by a backyard breeder to the Martinsville-Henry County SPCA.  It is suspected that their birth defects are the result of inbreeding. The League and Martinsville-Henry SPCA are working diligently to convince the breeder to surrender the puppies' parents for adoption, or commit to spaying and neutering these animals.  The League is committed to helping to lower pet euthanasia rates in the United States by promoting the adoption of shelter pets, Spay/Neuter advocacy, humane education, and more.

North Shore Animal League America - Home of the Mutt-i-gree® - headquartered in Port Washington, NY, is the largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization in the world. The Animal League reaches across the country to rescue, nurture and adopt 20,000 pets into happy and loving homes each year. Over the past decade, the Animal League saved over 200,000 lives and has saved 1,000,000 animals since its inception. “Like” us at, follow us at To learn more about animal rescue and welfare, visit

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