Bridgette, a little Chihuahua, was homeless, covered in fleas, wandering the streets of Los Angeles in the 100-degree heat — and she was enormously pregnant.
“It was very obvious to anyone that saw her that she was VERY pregnant,” Linzi Glass, executive director of The Forgotten Dog Foundation, told The Dodo. “She had a huge abdomen. She was only a few days away from giving birth when we got her.”
Almost as soon as Bridgette got situated in a safe, cool room at her foster family’s house, she gave birth to four tiny puppies.
And this happy ending very nearly didn’t happen at all.
Apparently, a concerned resident had taken Bridgette in for a few days before The Forgotten Dog Foundation heard about her. Not only did Bridgette end up homeless again after the landlord of the building found out about the dog in the apartment, Bridgette had also been given the wrong kind of flea bath and so when rescuers found her, she stank of chemicals from a soap meant to treat lice in human hair.
“Our vet office immediately bathed her multiple times and treated her for fleas with a product that is safe for pregnant moms,” Glass said. “Fortunately no harm was done to the puppies from this, nor did it harm Bridgette.”
Sadly, Bridgette is not the only homeless Chihuahua struggling to survive on the streets; California has a problem with Chihuahua overpopulation. It has been estimated that Chihuahuas represent up to 50 percent of the homeless dog population in California shelters. And many stray Chihuahuas still struggle on the streets.
“Chihuahuas originated from the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, and made their way across the border,” Glass explained. “There are so many in California because many of them do not get spayed/neutered, like Bridgette.”
Fortunately, Bridgette was found just in time. And now she and her puppies will have a chance to know what a real home feels like, once they are ready to be adopted — probably in at least 12 weeks.
For now, Bridgette is nursing her babies in a comfortable bed and is eating many meals herself, to gain strength. “We are feeding her four times a day, a combination of wet high-calorie puppy food, chicken and rice and puppy kibble,” Glass said.
“Bridgette was wandering the streets of LA with no place to safely have her babies,” The Forgotten Dog Foundation wrote on Facebook. “[But now] she is getting all the good food and care that she needs!”