A pink, female Chihuahua found on the streets of East Palo Alto made her way into a South Lake Tahoe home Saturday.
The roughly 3-month-old puppy made headlines in the Bay Area last week after she was discovered by a good Samaritan on Jan. 13. The Chihuahua, dyed pink, was lying in the street with a hairline fracture on one of her hind legs.
The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA received more than 100 phone messages from people interested in the canine before she even made the news, according to its website.
But it was South Lake Tahoe resident Jakki Svetlik who was selected as the puppy’s new owner.
“She’s settled in like we’ve always had her,” said Svetlik, owner of Pier Sun Tanning.
The tiny Chihuahua trotted around the tanning salon Tuesday before crashing into a bed and closing her eyes. There were no outward signs of limping or injury, and the only sound she made was a few quiet squeaks.
All in all, the puppy seemed pretty comfortable at 6,237 feet.
“She’s safe,” Svetlik said. “That’s the most important thing.”
After hearing the story several days ago from news outlets, Svetlik sought out the canine to see what she could do to help. She called the Peninsula Humane Society to see if she could adopt the dog, or at the very least, pay for the Chihuahua’s medical expenses.
It was Svetlik’s willingness to help the puppy without asking for anything in return that ultimately led to her selection, said Scott Delucchi, senior vice president of the Peninsula Humane Society.
“We just thought, ‘wow, that’s really nice,” he said. “That’s not what we get from everybody, and she seemed like she was a great match.”
Svetlik, who owns four other dogs including two other rescued Chihuahuas, has named her new companion Pinkki T. The canine was originally called Candy by Humane Society staff.
With her pink fur still showing, tourists have already showed up at the tanning salon asking to buy Pinkki T. But Svetlik said she’s not for sale.
“This little girl doesn’t have a price,” she told a hopeful buyer. “She’s priceless.”
As of Tuesday, Pinkki T’s original owner had not come forward to claim the dog.
Svetlik said she was glad to help an animal in need, and she hopes others are willing to do the same.
“She has a happy ending,” she said, “but there are so many other animals that don’t have a happy ending.”
For more information on pet adoption, the South Lake Tahoe animal shelter can be contacted at 530-573-7925.