Animal Control Officer Wins Adoption Lottery for 2-Legged Chihuahua

joey 2-legged chihuahua and doug smith

No one won the $380 million Powerball jackpot Saturday, but the winner of another lottery held in Devore, Calif., this weekend is over the moon.

Doug Smith, supervising animal control officer for San Bernardino County, is the new dog dad of a very agile, two-legged Chihuahua named Joey.

The 6ish-year-old stray was picked up by animal control officers in Highland, Calif., Tuesday night after someone called to report an injured dog.

As it turned out, the healthy Chihuahua wasn’t injured. Due to a birth defect, Joey is missing his right front leg and left hind leg — but from the way he runs, you’d barely notice it.

“He is a truly unique dog, not just because he has two legs, but because he is so capable and does not let his challenging circumstances slow him down,” Brian Cronin, chief of San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control, said in a statement last week.

Joey had no ID tags or microchip, and although he appeared to be very well taken care of, no one came forward to claim him during the shelter’s holding period.

On Sunday, about 20 people entered their names in a lottery to adopt Joey — including Smith, who’d been smitten with the little guy ever since he met him.

joey 2-legged chihuahua

“He can do almost anything any other dog can do,” Smith told the San Bernardino Sun last week. “He’s very friendly with people and gets along well with other dogs.”

Smith’s family has two other outdoor dogs, so Joey “will have the run of the house,” he told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. He said he’ll make sure Joey stays on soft surfaces to prevent strain on his two legs.

His 13-year-old daughter, Rodri, “already has a spot in her room picked out for his bed. Everyone is excited,” Smith said.

“I said I needed that dog. I needed that dog,” Rodri told the Bulletin. “He stands out to me because he only has two legs and he overcame his problems, and now everything is all right.”

Joey’s adoption kicked off San Bernardino Animal Care and Control’s week-long Furever Yours Pet Adoption Event. Through Valentine’s Day, dogs and cats at the county’s Devore and Big Bear Lake shelters will be available for discounted adoption fees. Spay and neuter fees are covered by Animal Control’s nonprofit fundraising arm, Animals Are First Fund (ARFF).

Photos via Facebook

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!