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Chihuahua Lands at the MSPCA-Angell after her Owner Dies of Coronavirus

Adorable Five-Year-Old “Chloe” Needs Surgery to Heal her Leg, and a New Adoptive Home

BOSTON, April 22, 2020 – The MSPCA-Angell’s Boston adoption center is now the temporary home for five-year-old Chihuahua Chloe, who was surrendered from a home in Brockton, Mass. after her owner died of COVID-19, the organization announced today.

Chloe arrived on Friday, April 17th with a metal plate attached to the bones of her right front leg.  The plate, a leftover from a surgery performed on the dog in 2016 to repair a broken leg, was supposed to have been removed after the leg healed.

While she appears to stand and walk with little pain, adoption center staff are concerned about long-term health implications associated with the plate staying on.

“We’ve scheduled an x-ray for later today and based on the result of that we’ll know if we can safely remove the plate,” said Anna Rafferty-Arnold, associate director of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center.

If the plate cannot be removed without creating more damage to her leg, the veterinary team will amputate the leg to spare her any future health issues associated with the plate.

Chloe’s medical bills are expected to top $1,500 and will be paid for by Spike’s Fund, which meets the medical care needs for homeless animals in the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center.  Anyone who wishes to help contribute toward her care can donate at

Chloe is described as shy at first, but very friendly and staffers feel she will do well in most homes, and encourages anyone interested to contact the adoption center directly at 617-522-5055.

Owing to the ongoing pandemic, all three of the MSPCA’s adoption centers—in Boston, Methuen and Centerville on Cape Cod—have temporarily transitioned to appointment-based adoptions and surrenders.

“This new model ensures we can respect social distancing and do our part to mitigate the spread of the virus while still finding homes for animals like Chloe who need them,” said Rafferty-Arnold.

The number of animals surrendered to the MSPCA’s adoption centers have actually decreased since the pandemic began.  But Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs, cautions that the trend may not hold.

“We are bracing for a wave of COVID-19 surrenders in the coming weeks as both the disease—and the economic fallout associated with it—bite deeper in Massachusetts,” he said.

The MSPCA is doing everything it can to stave off a surrender crisis by continuing to find homes for the animals in its care and providing necessary resources to the community.  “In just the last four weeks we’ve delivered over 50,000 pet meals to food pantries, ensuring that animal owners facing economic hardship can at least feed their animals,” said Keiley.