Bella: 'I'm a Keeper!'
January 27, 2010, 12:19PM MT
By Cathy Scott, Best Friends staff writer
An at-risk Chihuahua’s life is saved by social networking and a quick-thinking, generous woman.
On a recent Sunday evening, Cordelia Mendoza read a social media posting about an at-risk Chihuahua in need of rescue from an overcrowded shelter. The message, posted by the LifesAPet.com group on Twitter —a social media site —included a link to a photo. The message said, “Very Small Spayed Female Chihuahua Needs Rescue/Adoption."
When Mendoza, who was not looking to adopt another dog, clicked onto the link and saw the dog’s face, that was all it took. On Monday, she was on the phone with the shelter. By Tuesday morning, she was on the road driving to the Los Angeles area to retrieve the 5-pound Chihuahua, who was found on a street and taken by animal control to a shelter, where she gave birth to one large, stillborn, deformed puppy.
“Without question, Twitter and other forms of social media are having an impact on adoption and save rates,” said Jon Dunn, Internet marketing manager for Best Friends. “The ability to spread information so far, so fast means more eyes on an animal who needs a home. More eyes means the better chance someone will lock eyes and fall in love. That’s all it takes —just one look from one person.”
Now at home with Mendoza and her husband Bob, the Chihuahua (who was named Bella because it means “beautiful”) also lives with Sunshine, a 20-year-old Burmese cat, Sweetpea, an 8-year-old Burmese, and Frankie, an 8-year-old dog they adopted from Best Friends after he was confiscated six years ago from a hoarding situation. Bella and Frankie go to work each day with Mendoza at her antiques store in Ocean Beach, a coastal community in San Diego. A month after her rescue, Bella has healed from an infection and high fever and is coming out of her shell.
But with Frankie, the Mendoza’s other dog, it was not love at first sight. During the first couple of days, Frankie charged Bella, who appears to be around 10 months old. Mendoza read literature from Best Friends’ Network site and followed the suggestions for introducing a new pet into a household.
At the antiques shop, Bella is an attention-getter. “Bella gets a lot of attention from customers when she sits on her chair and plays with her toys or her bully sticks, or rests,” Mendoza said.
The good thing, as with Frankie, is Bella goes to work and “is never alone. She loves to tuck in under the covers with us at night. We bonded quickly and she shadows me everywhere I go. She loves her life — her walks, her trips in the car to work, her lawn where she can run around free as much as she likes, and do what dogs do. But most of all, she loves to be snuggled and to give kisses. The hard part of her life is behind her.”