Chihuahua is expected to survive

DESERT HOT SPRINGS — A Riverside County Animal Services officer responded to an emergency call Monday from a sheriff’s dispatcher with a report of an injured Chihuahua shot with an arrow.

A woman called 911 about the puppy that she discovered in the 15500 block of Avenida Florencita in unincorporated Desert Hot Springs. The woman told the Riverside County sheriff’s dispatcher that she woke up to hear the injured dog “screaming.”

A sheriff’s deputy picked up the dog and Animal Services officer Matthew Perez responded and recovered the injured dog from a sheriff’s deputy patrol unit. Officer Perez and the deputy met at the intersection of Varner Road and Date Palm Drive for the handoff – very near the county’s Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms.

Officer Perez observed the dog’s injury. The arrow punctured the dog through its neck. Officer Perez transported the dog to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus. He held the dog and comforted it.

His colleagues in the veterinary services division examined and treated the dog and, despite the serious wound, the 4-month-old, female, tan Chihuahua is expected to survive.

Registered Veterinary Technician Ivan Herrera sedated the dog and captured X-rays and consulted with Animal Services staff veterinarian Dr. Luis Lizarraga, who reviewed the X-rays and approved of the safe removal of the arrow. The arrow’s trajectory did not strike the puppy’s vital arteries.

“For someone to willfully shoot this poor pup with an arrow is disgusting,” Animal Services Director Erin Gettis said. “We are shocked, and we hope someone can provide us any information as to who did this. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to treat this puppy and work on finding her a suitable home.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 951-358-7387 or e-mail Animal Services at

Veterinary technician Emily Ellison assisted Herrera in the dog’s treatment and recovery.

“Ivan did such an amazing job to save this dog’s life,” Ellison said. “It’s amazing to see her affection, despite what occurred. She is such a sweet puppy. I cannot imagine why anyone would do something so terrible to such an innocent creature. It’s very sick.”


Image Sources

  • Chihuahua: RivCo Animal Services