Puppy found near death in Elko County given new home

ELKO, Nev. — A puppy given up for dead in Elko County has a new lease on life.

The Chihuahua named Trooper was taken to his new home Wednesday, about two weeks after he was found whimpering and seriously sick in a trash bin in Wells.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Flying J gas station in Wells on Aug. 30 after an employee found the dog there.

A deputy located the owners — a couple whose RV had broken down. They said they thought the puppy was dead and decided to dispose of it in the dumpster.

The dog was taken for emergency care to the Elko Veterinary Clinic and diagnosed with parvovirus, an infectious disease that is often fatal for dogs.

“I heard about the story and knew I had to do something,” D.J. Smith, who adopted Trooper, told the Elko Daily Free Press. “You can’t just let something go like that.”

Local dog lovers Park and Del Blair contributed more than $500 to save the animal’s life, said Elko Animal Shelter Manager Karen Walther.

“I didn’t think he would have made it,” Walther said. “For an animal to be that sick and to have that much heart, I’m happy as a lark. He’s been doted on here (at the shelter), and everyone’s been cheering for him after what he’s been through.”

Trooper was taken to Smith’s home, complete with two other Chihuahuas.

“Time to meet the family,” Smith told Trooper as he carried him out of the shelter.

Undersheriff Clair Morris said the original owners were not arrested or cited as there was no way to know whether the puppy actually appeared dead when it was tossed in the garbage.

Inside the couple’s RV, deputies found a pungent mess of dog feces and flies as well as 35 dogs. The couple allowed eight unhealthy adult dogs to be taken to the Elko Animal Shelter.

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