Success Stories and Reviews


Rascal's Story - The Dog We Spent Over $12k to assist - Adopted Nov 2019

Rascal came to us on the PetBus from another Rescue located in the North Island. Rascal had been there for six months and watched his sister get adopted. Rascal and his sister were originally surrendered to that Rescue after their elderly owner began to suffer extensively from dementia and it became unsafe for them to remain in that home.

From the moment our Trustees collected Rascal it was clear to see he suffered from a physical deformity and was in pain. After consultation with specialist veterinary surgeons and our trust vet, Rascal was diagnosed as suffering from shortened ulna syndrome and an angular limb deformity in his front leg. We were shocked to learn the quote of surgery would be between $5,000 - $8,000. It was clear Rascal was in immense pain so NZ Chihuahua Rescue began funding his pain relief and having Rascal attend physio while fundraising efforts began. Rascal came to us in March 2019 and after some hard fundraising work and very kind donators, Rascal underwent surgery at the end of June 2019. Unfortunately in August 2019 we received confirmation from his specialist that the surgery had failed due to the bone re-absorbing the new growth and a further $4,200.00 was required to put a metal plate in his leg. Luckily, Rascal has some very loving supporters and his prospective Adopters assisted us in meeting his further costs. All up - the Trust have  spent over $12,000.00 on Rascal's medical care alone to date. This has paid for the two specialist surgeries, x-ray post operative checks  under sedation and  medications to keep him comfortable, both pre and post surgery. Rascal  is worth every cent. We are so happy that his story is well on it's way  to having a happy ending!  

Although it was quite a daunting feat to raise that amount of money. We never waiver in our commitment to the dogs that come into our care. We will move mountains for their welfare and always ensure that medical issues are corrected. We believe in giving dogs that second chance - no matter what. Sometimes the dogs that come into our care have had people fail them prior and we want them to know that they are safe and have a bright future ahead, just like Rascal.


Sassi's Story - Ex-Breeding Mum from a Registered Kennel - Adopted May 2018 at the age of 9 years!

Sassi is a beautiful 9 year old pedigree Chihuahua who flew by airplane from the North Island to join us in Christchurch at New Zealand Chihuahua Rescue and quite honestly, captured our hearts entirely.

Sassi's personality definitely suited her name! Sassi is a force to be reckoned with - stubborn, clever and headstrong. But also a very funny, loving and sweet little dog who enjoys affection.

Sassi came to us from former dog show exhibitors and registered Chihuahua breeders who had decided (due to health reasons) to close their Kennel. We assisted the Owners with around 20 dogs into lovely retirement adoptive homes. We are always happy to help breeders and show exhibitors with re-homing. Happy to do so privately if preferred (simply send us an email!) Sassi was an ex-breeding bitch, so she was spayed by the trust. Sassi was vet checked and blood tested prior and had her dental completed with the Trust also. Once the medical side had been taken care of, we set about on the search for a new home!

Sassi presented a unique challenge for our adoptions team as she does not like many other dogs (females in particular) and does not like to share the affections of her human with any other dogs! Sassi also does not like cats or children. At NZ Chihuahua Rescue, we pride ourselves on doing the very best we can for our dogs. This includes an in-depth analysis of their character prior to determining their "adopter requirements".

Sassi now enjoys being the Queen of her household. Sassi is a much loved only-pet to a loving couple who take her everywhere with them. They also regularly attend our Chihuahua gatherings here in Christchurch so that Sassi's socialization can be worked upon.

It is never too late to rehome your dog into a loving home if need be, Sassi was 9 years young.


Khan's Story - Over $4,000 in Vet costs for surprise bladder stones while in care! - Adopted June 2019

This handsome pedigree long coat Chihuahua is Khan, who at 10 years young found himself on a plane to be placed with NZ Chihuahua Rescue. 

Khan has a very distinctive personality. He is clever, relaxed and loving, but can also be stubborn and does not like strangers coming to his house. Khan could also be over-protective to the point of biting when people came to his house. Luckily for Khan, we are experienced in dealing with dogs who have distinctive behavioral issues. One of our wonderful regular foster carers is an experienced animal behaviorist and has worked extensively with Khan to overcome this issue.

Unfortunately, while in our care Khan became very ill, we quickly whipped him into our vets clinic. Khan was diagnosed as having five large bladder stones. This was excruciating for Khan but made all the more worse (and seriously life-threatening) due to the fact one stone had become lodged in his urethra. After consulting with our vet about his options. Our Trustees chose to fund raise and pursue a surgical corrective procedure with specialist veterinary surgeons, VetSpecs here in Christchurch. NZ Chihuahua Rescue raised a whopping $3,000.00 within two days and Khan received the operation he so desperately needed. As a Rescue, we pride ourselves on going above and beyond for each dog in our care! The Trust also placed Khan on a specialist renal diet to ensure we are doing all we can so that the issue hopefully does not reoccur.

After several weeks recovering in our care, Khan was adopted to a lovely couple who also have a Rescue greyhound and two cats. He is living out his years in his loving forever home.


Shaya and Angel's Story - Surrendered due to Owner Going into Care - Adopted May 2019

Shaya a 10 year old Pom x Chi and his "sibling" Angel a long coat Chihuahua, came to us from a family member of an elderly woman who had to unfortunately enter care here in North Canterbury. Angel came into care first, she had a very distinctive, confident and assertive personality but underneath was quite anxious. Shaya soon followed, after the son felt he couldn't keep him any longer. Shaya was almost the absolute opposite of his "sister". Shaya was shy, withdrawn and bitey. He barely ate and would not come out of his doggy bed, preferring to remain there 24-7 and let life pass him by.

When new dogs come into care they are thoroughly vet checked and the seniors recieve a comprehensive blood panel (to ensure their organs are all fully operational). We were so happy we did that in this case as although Shaya appeared healthy on the outside, blood work made it clear that he suffered from a previously un-diagnosed liver issue. Former vet records sourced by the Trust also show that Shaya suffers from elbow dysplaysia. Shaya was immediately placed on liver medications and a specialist vet diet. His weight was also closely monitored and he made a full recovery.

Mentally, we worked with Angel to reduce her anxiety and with Shaya's depression. After time, both dogs learnt to trust the humans around them slowly. This is a very gradual process but one we are firmly committed to. We saw a huge improvement in both dogs steadily over time.  Once content to pass the day by lying in his bed, Shaya became full of energy, cuddly and enthusiastic about his new life.

Shaya and Angel were then homed together, after the Trustees realized their need to remain at the same home. Both dogs have now been adopted by a wonderful retired couple who dote on them day and night. 


Poppy's Story - Puppy-farm Mum finds her "furever" home - Adopted May 2019

Poor little Poppy came to us from a concerned member of the public who had purchased her as a pet from a Breeder that would not allow him into her house to view her puppies and simply met him at a park to make the exchange. He was concerned about her physical state and health and the fact that she was very fearful and timid and she would bite anyone that would attempt to come near her. Poppy originally came from a well known unregistered "Breeder" residing in the South Canterbury Area who breeds Pugs, fancy crossbred cats and on occasion, Chihuahuas.

Upon receiving Poppy it was clear to our team she was very unwell. Poppy was thin and her fur was falling out in clumps. The teeth in Poppy's mouth were rotten (some of them baby teeth - still in place at 6 years of age!) and she required de-sexing, vaccinations and socialization. 

We took Poppy in to foster care where all of her medical needs were attended to and she began to gain weight and enjoy the benefits of not having a mouth full of sore, infected teeth. After a short time Poppy's sweet, quirky little personality came out. We also worked on her wariness of people and socialization. Poppy has now bloomed into a sweet and loving little companion and is a firm favorite of many of our team members!

Poppy is a great example of a little dog who simply needed a second chance and the expertise of someone who has worked with rescue Chihuahuas prior. Poppy needed medical care before she was able to be worked with behaviorally. Poppy is now a completely different dog inside and out, thanks to our team and her  committed foster carer.

Poppy now resides with her adoptive mummy (who fosters for NZCR regularly) and with her "brother" Darcy who is also adopted from NZCR.


Frankie and Ruby, Our Pound Success Story - Adopted November 2018

In September 2018 NZ Chihuahua Rescue were contacted by Opotiki Pound in relation to two dogs that had remained in their care for over a month. Frankie and Ruby (on either end of Bentley above), two 1 year old Chihuahua Crosses had no time left. They needed arrangements to be made for them both, or they would have to be put to sleep.

New Zealand Chihuahua Rescue paid their flights and had a kind supporter travel from Rotorua to Opotiki and back in order to place them on a flight to Christchurch. We are always willing to take in dogs whose time is up at the Pound.

Frankie and Ruby were bright, affectionate and full of life. What a waste to think that these two amazing loyal companions to be, could have been euthanized. Frankie and Ruby were both desexed, vaccinated, registered, micro-chipped and registered with NZCAR (as is standard with all dogs placed in our care).

We then had to make the difficult decision to adopt them out separately. Frankie had protectiveness issues when around Ruby. If his sister was around he would be more aggressive and would not interact with humans or other dogs. Similarly, Ruby was much naughtier when with her bigger brother and much more difficult to train. 

The difference in separating them was obvious, although sad, both dogs went to homes with other dog-company.  Ruby did wonderfully with her training and Frankie is now an affectionate and much loved family member with a little doggy-sister.  NZ Chihuahua Rescue, Frankie and Ruby and Opotiki Animal Control even made the Opotiki local newspaper!


Hercules' Story - Permanent Foster and Resident of NZCR - 2019

Hercules is a 10 year old Chihuahua cross who came to us as a very sick and neglected old dog. Our "Herc", as he is affectionately known by our Team, was surrendered to NZ Chihuahua Rescue after his elderly owner entered care and her family couldn't care for him long term. Hercules was living outside in a kennel and he did not get along with the children and other dog of the household.

 Hercules came to NZCR needing some serious vet care. Hercules had a large flea infestation which had led to big red welts on his back (a result of flea dermatitis) has a parrot mouth deformity and (as we have recently discovered) two fractured hips (likely sustained from an accident 2 years prior which also resulted in the loss of his tail movement). Hercules has an enlarged heart and his condition has progressed a fair amount. NZCR de-sexed Herc, completed a full dental to remove rotten teeth, a full blood panel to check organ function plus urine analysis and x-rays of the heart, hips and tail. 

Hercules has now been placed on two expensive heart medications to prolong life. We believe each dog should have the chance to be loved and survive as long as it is humane for them to do so. Due to the fact that he is in pain with his hips, Hercules is known to have a feisty temper and is also on pain relief as needed. Unfortunately, this will have an effect on his heart and likely on his lifespan.

For the above reasons, our Trustees have made the decision to keep Hercules in permanent foster care. We do not believe in euthanizing dogs with manageable health issues, who are still happy and active the majority of the time. We also do not believe in euthanizing our dogs due to temperament alone. Hercules will remain in our care, being loved and doted on until such time as it is clear he is at the end of his life. Until that time, he will experience the feeling of being a much loved part of his foster family. Who also appreciate the "zoomies" Hercules performs in anticipation of meal times each evening and night! Hercules is undoubtedly one special little dude.


Mr Darcy's Story - Left at a Groomers - Adopted 2018

Mr Darcy was left at his Groomers by the partner of his owner after she passed away.  The reason given was that he had issues with "barking" and was causing havoc with the neighbors. Dogs grieve similar to humans and Mr Darcy would have just been expressing his anxiety. We took Mr Darcy into foster care and began our assessment.

Aside from being grossly obese, it became clear that Mr Darcy had neurological issues that caused him to walk sideways and frequently stumble. After some tests it was concluded that he does suffer neurological symptoms but they do not appear to cause him pain or be progressing.

NZCR make sure that foster carers are matched to the right dogs and have the skill set required for them, whether they need behavioral or medical assistance. In the case of Mr Darcy, we selected a lovely Foster Mum who had experience with dogs who have "quirks" or illnesses. His foster mum was able to liaise with our Vet and keep a close eye on Mr Darcy.

Mr Darcy's foster carer fell in love and although she continues to foster for us, she now has two permanent additions to her family - Mr Darcy and Poppy!

"I haven't been a foster mum for very long. After losing my elderly fox  terriers over the last two years, I decided I just could not replace  either of them.  A friend of mine drew my attention to the rescue and I  decided to apply to foster. I got my first call not too long after to  take in a wee chap who needed care.  I am now totally smitten with him.  What a fantastic experience it is to take a rescue dog into your home  and offer them love and stability, and in return you get to watch them  blossom. 

NZCR is very supportive and in contact with me regularly. I can  see myself continuing with this, it's opened a whole new experience for  me. Thank you to the Team at NZ Chihuahua Rescue for introducing me to  Mr Darcy.”

- Lisa, Foster Carer for Mr Darcy and Rascal


Cooper's Story - The Dog Passed Around on TradeMe and Facebook - Adopted Jan 2019

Cooper, our beautiful "Chug" (Chihuahua x Pug) originally haiiled from Wellington and was placed for sale online via TradeMe. We came across Copper after he had only been at his new home a couple of weeks and was again being advertised on Facebook. The new owner felt he was pestering her entire female and couldn't afford to desex either dog.

Cooper was barely over 1 year old and had already had three different homes throughout the Country. Like many dogs, Cooper was a victim of the online  "purchase now, think later" mentality that social media pet sale sites facilitate. He had been rehomed time again and needed someone to commit to him for the long haul.

Cooper came to us sweet, cuddly, lively and happy but very insecure and wary of humans. It was clear he had been through a lot in his life and suffered as a result. While in foster care, Cooper was desexed, registered, micro-chipped (and added to NZCAR), vaccinated, flea and worm treated. Our Trustees also worked with Cooper to install a sense of confidence and security.

Once Cooper was healed and ready, he attended a very successful meet and greet with a lovely young couple from the West Coast who traveled to Christchurch to meet him. Cooper was as smitten as they were with him! and he soon went on a road trip to the Coast for a trial. Cooper loved their two current dogs and the farm life on the Coast and they all adored their new family member, little Cooper.

Please do not privately rehome your pets on Facebook or TradeMe! They suffer each new transition and you never know whose hands they will fall into. You cannot trust someone with your furbaby from a 5 minute phone call or meeting. We are more than happy to assist with rehoming, simply reach out to us for help. We are always happy to assist!


Bugs and MaeMae's Story - Sisters to be Homed Together - Adopted 2018

Bugs and MaeMae came to us at 7 years old from a private surrenderer. Their former owner had taken on a job that required long working hours and felt that she could no longer give them the attention required. She decided to selflessly contact us and inquire about whether we could rehome the two dogs.

Our Trustees collected these two little love bugs and brought them into Trust care. Both girls were severely obese and required a specialized diet. Once down to a more trim weight, we realized that both girls suffered from a condition called "luxating patellas" which are common in the breed. NZ Chihuahua Rescue paid for the orthopedic surgery required to correct their limbs and allow the girls to live pain-free lives.

Bugs and MaeMae were adopted together to a lovely couple and their two current Chihuahuas. They were actually "foster fails" meaning that their foster carers fell in love with their adorable personalities and could not part with them!

NZ Chihuahua Rescue always try to rehome dogs together, where possible. It is only in the event that one dog negatively impacts the other, that we recommend rehoming separately. There is no time limit on how long our dogs remain in foster care. Our biggest concern is their welfare. We firmly believe there is a home out there for each and every dog and we have the time to wait until that perfect match is found!


Jame's Story - An Old, Grumpy Loving Companion - Adopted 2017

After James' former owner decided to move overseas, he was surrendered to the Trust for re-homing.  Prior to meeting James we were told about his aversion to people and dislike for men in particular. James was described as grumpy and nippy.

James was placed with one of our experienced fosters who has fostered countless dogs, internationally. Through observing James and his interactions, his foster was able to work on the behaviors that were undesirable. James was then adopted to his wonderful new forever home in Nelson. Carolyn shares her experience as follows...

"My partner and I decided that our wee chi-cross, Molly, would benefit from having a playmate. We also decided we would rather give a home to an older dog. The next day James popped up looking for a forever home.

James has fit in very well with us. He is (understandably) a bit nervous around strangers, but learning. James has been camping and straight away knew his safe place was the camper. James is a very smart boy. James took longer to bond with Kevin, but has now turned into a real daddy's boy. 

We are all so happy to have James as part of our family and so pleased that the trust chose us for him. Everything was handled very professionally with the main concern being that James was placed in the best home for him. I am pleased to say he was. We all love each other to bits. James continues to trust us more each day, loves car rides in his car-seat and curls up in his own bed at night tucked into his blankets."


Max's Story - On the Run from the Council - Adopted 2018

Max came into care after we were contacted in a panic by his former owners. Max was a larger small breed dog who resided in the Country. Max was getting out of the fencing and making a nuisance out of himself and coming to the attention of the local Council!

We took Max into care, desexed him, worm, flea, vaccinated, registered with our local council and micro-chipped him also. We also placed him with a foster carer who eventually became his Adopter!

"I consider myself to be the luckiest girl in the world to have had the  opportunity to work with and know NZ Chihuahua Rescue,

I met them on the  day Max was surrendered and although I had never really pictured myself  owning a little dog it was a bit of  love at first sight. 

Max is the most perfect fit for me ever and I  constantly hear from people what a fantastic dog he is and what a great  match we are. 

He now spends his days with his cat brother snuggled up  with a thousand toys and treated like a king, Max is also on track to start obedience and agility training this year too. 

I  cannot thank the NZCR team for everything they have done for me and their never ending amount of support and knowledge.  You can absolutely tell this is a Rescue who has nothing but the dogs best  interests at heart."  

- Ash, Max's Foster mum turned, forever mum.