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Help Give New Life to Puppy with Skin Disease

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Valentino Has Been Adopted!

This adorable Chihuahua mix is fully healed and home for the holidays, thanks to our terrific donors!

Great news for everyone who has been following the progress of Valentino, the darling little Chihuahua mix whom we rescued from a municipal shelter in California.

As you can see in these photos, Valentino has healed from his horrific case of Demodex mange, which had caused his skin to be raw, itchy and inflamed. He now has a nearly full coat of fur, and he is a happy and healthy little guy!

His adopter, Anne, is on our veterinary team. She bonded with Valentino while he was in our Medical Center, and she cared for him in her home as his foster mom for many months. Although she already has three other dogs (Snoopy, Jack and Chloe, all rescued pets), she couldn’t help but fall in love with Valentino. She officially adopted him on December 19, 2013!

Anne shares Valentino’s update:

Valentino is a very entertaining little "sir," as I like to call him. He zips around the house like a wind-up toy. He is a little thief, stealing everything he can from the laundry basket, and then hiding under the furniture so you can't get it back. I spend so much time laughing at his antics; it has done my soul good! When he’s all done with his playtime, his favorite spot is right in my lap, gazing up at me until he falls asleep, just like my kids used to do as babies. When he looks at me with those eyes, I just can't imagine my life without him.

While Valentino is in very good health, with his internal parasites completely gone, he will continue to need lifelong treatment for his Demodex, and he may never regain a full coat of fur. But he is in safe and caring arms with Anne and her family, who love him with all their hearts!

Thank you so much to all who donated to our Help Me Heal campaign! Please continue to support this life-saving program throughout the new year so we can save the lives of more precious animals like Valentino.



Good news for Valentino! He has been making great progress in his treatment for Demodex. His sore, red skin is healing very well, and his tan coat has just started to grow back. He’s no longer in terrible pain, and it shows on his happy face.

Valentino still has a long way to go, and we will be with him every step of the way until he is fully recovered and ready to be adopted. Right now, he is being fostered by one of our staff members, so he gets to enjoy the comforts of a loving home while still being able to receive checkups at our medical center on a daily basis.

Valentino loves to play with puppy chew toys, and his foster mom reports that he has a “cat-like fondness” for cardboard boxes. The fear he once felt has given way to enthusiasm and pure joy— just what every puppy deserves! We’ll keep you updated as his condition continues to improve. Thank you once again for helping Valentino, and other animals like him, on their roads to recovery!

Valentino's Story

When North Shore Animal League America rescued this tiny Chihuahua mix puppy from a municipal shelter in Los Angeles, he was suffering from one of the worst cases of Demodex that our veterinary team had ever seen.

The poor pup was in horrible shape. His skin was red, raw and bleeding. He had absolutely no fur. And because of the intense itching caused by his skin disease, he was gnawing at every part of his body.

And that wasn’t all. He also had conjunctivitis (better known as pink eye); coccidiosis, an intestinal parasite that is potentially fatal if untreated; and an upper respiratory infection. He was also missing half of one ear.

Given the severity of his condition, if he had remained in the municipal shelter, he most certainly would have been euthanized.

Through our Humane Relocation Program, we were able to team up with the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation to bring the puppy to the safety of our no-kill headquarters in New York, where he was immediately given medication to relieve his pain and itching. He was also given antibiotics designed to cure his many infections.

Our staff fell in love with the sweet puppy, and they named him “Valentino,” which means brave and strong. After surviving such neglect and trauma, he had earned it.

Our veterinary team has been giving him special baths, multiple medications and very gentle handling, and he’s responding with kisses and cuddles.

Valentino is being monitored around-the-clock as he recovers from his many ailments, and he will require ongoing personalized care and rehabilitation.

Won’t you please donate to help Valentino and other animals like him?

Once he is recovered, we will find Valentino a loving, permanent home. Until then, we need your help.

Please donate today.

Thank you for being a true friend to all ailing, abused and neglected animals. We are so grateful for your support!

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