A daddy dog with a deformed leg led his family of nine to safety this week along the shoulder of a busy highway during rush-hour traffic, officials said.
His destination: Animal Care Services.
“Animals come in every single day,” whether they're picked up or dropped off, said Lisa Norwood, ACS spokeswoman. “In this particular case, they brought themselves in.”
An ACS employee and a volunteer caught sight of the pack of Chihuahua mixes Wednesday around 5 p.m., Norwood said.
From the shoulder of a bustling Texas 151, the patriarch of the family led an older female dog and seven puppies down a grassy slope and to the gate of ACS, located along the frontage road of the highway.
The leader has a cloven leg — likely a birth defect caused by inbreeding.
“He gets along fine and was able to lead his family off of the highway and into the shelter,” Norwood said.
ACS officials believe someone abandoned the pack along the highway — an illegal act anywhere in Texas. Abandoning an animal is an act of cruelty and a felony if someone throws the creature from a vehicle or into a body of water, Norwood said.
“Abandoning an animal by a highway is just unconscionable,” Norwood said. “There are so many options, so many shelters in San Antonio.”
The phenomenon is common in this region, particularly in parks and rural areas, she said.
In this case, the nine Chihuahuas were suffering from ringworm and mange. Both conditions are treatable, although they could take several months to heal.
Norwood said ACS has placed the dogs on a special hold in hopes of finding people to adopt them. Officials said those interested should call (210) 207-4738.
“They're real sweet. A couple of them are just really social,” she said. “This is a perfect reason for folks to come forward and become fosters. Animals like this come in, and they clearly deserve another chance.”
Daddy Chihuahua leads family to safety