Tiny 6 Pound Stray Was Rejected For Being “Too Old”—She Was Only 1-Year-Old

Meet Sofia—a Chihuahua mix with Pug, Pomeranian, and Labrador Retriever sprinkled in who was found wandering the streets as a stray in Southern California. Brought to a SoCal shelter to be evaluated and put up for adoption, Sofia was incredibly small at just 6 pounds, and the staff at the shelter thought she must be a puppy.

Dog Rescue: Tiny 6 Pound Stray Was Rejected For Being “Too Old”

Thankfully, things were looking good for Sofia—a rescue in Washington state had reached out to pull her from the shelter, and they even had potential adopters lined up! Small dogs like Sofia are usually pretty easy to get adopted, and puppies are in especially high demand. 

Unfortunately, shortly after being transferred to Washington, Sofia’s chances of finding a forever home looked like they might be snatched away.

Puppy Preferences—How Adult Dogs Become Long-Time Rescue Residents

Sofia arrived at BRAVE Rescue in Onalaska, WA, and was given a once-over by their veterinarians. Though she was incredibly small, vets estimated she was closer to 8 months or 1 year old—while not a young puppy still a long life ahead of her! 

According to her first potential adopters, Sofia was “too old” for them, and they would rather adopt a puppy instead. Sadly, this happens to many dogs in the rescue system. Many adopters are dead set on adopting a puppy, the younger the better, leaving the adult dogs—and even adolescents—to spend months or even years in shelters and rescues. 

Dog Rescue: Tiny 6 Pound Stray Was Rejected For Being “Too Old”

Many people don’t realize the enormous commitment required to raise a puppy, and others are simply uninterested in adult dogs. In some cases, dogs are returned to shelters once they leave the puppy stage, and in the worst scenarios, they are dumped or abandoned simply because they grew up. But puppies can’t stay puppies forever.

Thankfully, many adopters are committed to their dogs for life, not just puppyhood, and see the benefits of adopting an adult dog that has already reached important developmental milestones. 

Sofia Finds Her Perfect Humans

In Gig Harbor, Washington, Elizabeth Bramkamp and her husband were browsing Petfinder, dipping their toes back into the dog adoption world after losing two senior pets within two months of each other. Elizabeth was ready to open her heart again, and then she scrolled to Sofia’s picture. 

Dog Rescue: Tiny 6 Pound Stray Was Rejected For Being “Too Old”

“She was perfect for us— ”scoopable” as my husband said—and what a bonus adopting a dog that was still very young but not a puppy,” says Elizabeth, explaining why she felt Sofia would be a good fit for her family. “She was housebroken and knew her social skills, and there was something about her eyes that stuck with me. I knew we belonged together.”

So, Elizabeth sent in her application, and the rescue thought that she and Sofia belonged together, too!

The Most Chill Small Dog Ever

Today, Sofia is a little heavier and a little taller thanks to some nutritious food, and she has settled into her home very comfortably. Although small dogs have a reputation for being yippy and easy to overstimulate, Sofia’s humans describe her as “the most chill small dog.” 

Dog Rescue: Tiny 6 Pound Stray Was Rejected For Being “Too Old”

“She rarely—if ever—barks, unless she spies a raccoon in the backyard or is insisting to my husband that he take her out, but she can be sassy, too. When we talk to her sometimes she will listen, then give a sharp, single bark. This will go back and forth-especially between my husband and her. ” says Elizabeth about the now four-year-old Sofia. “She is very secure with herself and her surroundings—she enjoys meeting other animals and people, and she loves the neighbor kids who come to visit her.”

It’s amazing what just a little love can do for a shelter pup. When Elizabeth was first introduced to Sofia, she was told that she had been standoffish with her initial foster, so they were prepared to coax this little dog out of her shell. Luckily, Sofia has been a perfect fit for their home, and things have gone pretty easily. It certainly helps that Elizabeth and her husband are excellent at socializing Sofia and paying close attention to her needs. 

Dog Rescue: Tiny 6 Pound Stray Was Rejected For Being “Too Old”

“We ensure she has doggy play dates with her best buddies next door, plus they have cats she also likes to visit,” says Elizabeth, describing some of the other things they do to keep Sofia calm and comfortable. “We have five dog beds inside for her, one in the garage, and one outside. Plus, each vehicle has a car seat for her so she’s safe when we go out—she just thinks it’s her moving bed!” 

After a rejection, life is sweet for Sofia and her humans. “We can’t imagine life without her,” Elizabeth says lovingly of her sweet rescue dog. “She has filled our hearts with joy!”

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