PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK) – A golden retriever mix who was being raised for meat in South Korea now has a forever home right here in the Valley.
ChiChi was flown to Los Angeles Friday and then driven to the Howell family in Phoenix Saturday.
“She has a will to live,” Megan Howell, the family’s daughter, said. “She just loves people and she’s so happy despite what happened to her in the past.”
The 2-year-old dog was part of an underground dog-meat market and was found near death, buried in a black trash bag in South Korea in February.
“I was nauseous, I was sad, I couldn’t believe it,” Elizabeth Howell, the family’s mother, said. “I couldn’t believe a human being could so something like that to any living thing.”
Animal rescuers treated her in Korea. Her paws were so infected veterinarians had to remove the bottoms of her legs.
The Howell family found out about ChiChi through Animal Rescue, Media & Education, which is the parent company of the Beagle Freedom Project, where they got their two beagles.
“We saw a post about her on social media and started following her story really closely after that,” Elizabeth said. “And we expressed an interest in adopting her.”
ChiChi is now learning to walk around the Howell’s backyard. She’ll have to get something to cover the bottom of her legs since she doesn’t have any paws.
The family has high hopes for the dog.
“Once we get her rehabilitated we’re going to make her a therapy dog,” Megan said. “We’re going to take her to hospitals to visit soldiers and children who may have a body part amputated.”
Through it all, the Howell family said ChiChi’s spirits have always remained high.
“She’s special because she’s been tortured and treated horribly by people, and she’s forgiven,” Elizabeth said. “She loves people and she loves being around people despite what she’s been through. She has an amazing will to live and she’s accepted her situation. She’s happy, she’s loving and we’re just so excited to have her be a part of our family.”
Original Article: CBS 5