Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS) is looking for the owner of a small dog found with a homemade wheelchair. He was picked up by a resident when he was spotted on the streets of that city. He was turned over to MDAS, and given the name "Buffy". The little stray dog was rolling down road, his paralyzed rear legs held up by the wheelchair. The shelter believes he has an owner somewhere, because when found, he was in very good condition, recently bathed and groomed. They estimate his age to be about four-years-old.
He is very well behaved, but MDAS has a very high euthanasia rate, receiving close to 20,000 animals each year, and because of his physical challenges, his chances of getting adopted were between slim and none.
Luckily for him, Regina Vlasek, with Saving Sage Animal Rescue Foundation (SSARF), located in Miami Shores, Florida, saw the photo of Buffy on the MDAS adoptables web page. She has experience with physically challenged dogs and immediately pulled him from the shelter. In fact, SSARF is named for a dog who had been a victim of a terrible hit and run. The dog, a female pitbull who appeared to have been used as a bait dog, was nursed back to health by Regina and Karina Goldenberg, and members of their community, who called her "Sage".
It's possible that the scruffy small dog, who appears to be a Shih Tzu, wandered off, but how that happened without anyone noticing is a mystery. Saving Sage has re-named the dog "Chico". They believe he may be owned by a Spanish-speaking person, because he responds to commands in Spanish, rather than English.
The rescue received a new wheelchair for Chico, donated by Just Jacks Rescue, an all-foster volunteer rescue in South Florida, usually dedicated to the rescue and rehoming of Jack Russell Terriers in need. Chico's new chair fits him much better than his homemade model. And the rescue also believes someone must love him if they took the time to build him a wheelchair. They reached out to NBC6 to get his photo on the air, hoping that his owner will see him and reclaim him. SSARF can be contacted at (305) 298-8346 or (786) 356-2116, or email Regina@SavingSageRescue.org.
The rescue does ask that you please contact them ahead of time, and not show up unannounced, to best accommodate the animals and volunteers. Though still officially the property of MDAS, SSARF is taking great care of Chico, while the search for his owner continues....