What is the right thing to do when you suspect a dog is being abused? As much as you want to protect the animal, you need to make sure you're protecting yourself as well.
Questions about Pregnant Dog, Abuse and Rescue
I currently have my own pregnant Chihuahua. However, I also took another pregnant Chihuahua away from some people that were mistreating her because she was pregnant, and I assumed they didn't want her to have a litter.
Well, I took her in and she had her pups on Friday. Thanks to all of the research I've done on this site, I was able to be of some help to her. But things got complicated, and I had to rush her to the vet for a C-section. She lost three of the pups, but three more survived. I had the vet go ahead and spay her so she would never have to go through that again.
Her previous owners want her back, and I don't know what to do. They used to hit and mistreat her in other ways, so I need your advice. Do you think this dog and my pregnant dog will get along? My own dog is due to have her pups in ten days.
I just want to say that now I truly understand the risks of breeding since I went through all of this.
~~ Chihuahua Lover
Hi Chihuahua Lover,
First let me say I'm sorry to hear the rescued bitch had such a difficult delivery, but this is what to expect from Chihuahuas. They are not easy dogs to breed, and need a lot of support to make it through pregnancy and delivery.
Now, I need to make sure I understand a few points before I give you advice about whether or not to give the rescued Chihuahua back to her previous owners. My suggestions will be based not only on what's good for the dog, but your own protection as well.
You say you "took" the dog because she was being mistreated and you "assumed" they didn't want her to have pups.
- Did you take her with the owner's permission? Did they willingly give her to you?
- Did they clearly understand you meant to keep the dog permanently?
If your answers to these questions are yes, then you should try to keep the dog. I'm not an attorney, but under USA law, that would likely be a verbal contract, and it should hold up in a court of law if it came down to that. It just has to be clear that you both understood and agreed to the terms of your taking the dog in the first place.
All of that understood, if the dog was removed without the previous owner's knowledge and permission, there could be a lot of trouble. Even if a dog is being abused, it's best to report the situation to the local authorities and Humane Society. Let them investigate and remove the dog from the home if the allegations of abuse are justified.
So, if permission wasn't clearly given and understood by both parties, you may need to give mom and the puppies back. In this case the previous owners would also not be liable for the veterinary bill for the C-section.
Finally, let's address your question about these two girls getting along in the event you keep the rescued bitch. For now, I wouldn't try to introduce them until after your own bitch is finished with her litter. She will be far more protective and less receptive to making a new friend. The added stress would also not be good for her at this time.
After the litter, you can begin introducing the girls to each other while you supervise. Chihuahuas have temperaments that are very similar to Terriers, so there may be some fighting at first, but hopefully they'll settle things between themselves and learn to get along. You'll need to intervene if they seem serious and actually bite each other.
One way or another, it sounds like you have a lot of work cut out for you. I hope your situation turns out the best for you and all of the Chihuahuas.
Thanks for your questions~~ Kelly