Center hopes for ‘Cinder'-ella story for neglected pup

Press Release

A black and white Chihuahua, 2, is a long way from the tree in Los Angeles County that she spent most of her life tied to. She’s now at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, waiting to be adopted.

The little dog, called Cinder because of her coloring, mothered a litter of puppies before being rescued. Her babies died of exposure to the elements.

“We see some pretty sad things,” HWAC spokesman John Van Zante said. “But this is among the worst. Animal Control officials investigated a report that the mommy dog was tied to a tree with her puppies nearby.

“Neighbors said that the dog had lived its entire life tied to the tree. But officers arrived too late. The puppies had all died from exposure.”

The mommy dog was taken to an animal control facility in Los Angeles County. The already crowded kennels could not hold another dog, especially a dog that had come from such uncertain circumstances. Rather than take drastic measures the little Chihuahua was allowed to leave with Julie Joseph, who runs a cat rescue organization in Los Angeles.

Joseph works closely with Helen Woodward Animal Center to rescue orphaned dogs and cats that might not otherwise survive. She contacted HWAC adoptions manager LaBeth Thompson and told her the story of a dog that she had already named Cinder.

“After all she had been through, we were pleased that Cinder was still such a sweet dog,” Thompson said. “She’s missing some fur on her neck from wearing a collar that was possibly too tight and from living outside. At 10 pounds she’s ‘chubby’ due to lack of exercise. But Dr. Patricia Carter says that Cinder is otherwise in pretty good health.”

“Cinder will need training. She’s spent her whole life outside, tied to a tree,” Van Zante said. “One of our care providers says that this dog has never lived like a ‘real pet.’ That means she’s got a lot to learn. But she’s young, has a great personality and she’s eager to be the shining star of her new family.”

The adoption fee for Cinder is $195. She became available on Thursday at Helen Woodward Animal Center, 6461 El Apajo Rd., Rancho Santa Fe. For more information visit or call 756-4117.