Marine veteran finds two-pound dog worth her weight in gold

For one Marine veteran, a scrappy little puppy mill dog destined for death was worth saving – and worth her weight in gold.

Chloe, a seven year-old Chihuahua, has truly been through the mill. The two-pound dog was abandoned after doing time in a puppy mill, her reproductive organs over used, worn out and infected. She was a pitiful sight when Karen, a U.S. Marine veteran, noticed the rag-tag dog at the Lake City Columbia County Humane Society in Lake City, Florida.

“She was so timid and fragile; she looked scared to death,” recalls Karen, who was stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia in the early 1970’s. 

Giving a last-chance pet a second chance at life

It was clear to Karen that due to her history, condition and age, Chloe was unlikely to be adopted. She also felt that Chloe would not thrive in a shelter environment. A life-long pet owner and animal lover, Karen immediately checked with the staff about fostering little Chloe and helping her have a second chance at a happy life.

Karen brought Chloe home to nurse her back to health. She discovered that as Chloe got more comfortable in her new surroundings, she would not only be a wonderful companion for herself, but could be a nice buddy for Karen’s five year-old rat terrier, Baby.

“Chloe made me happy and provided lots of laughs,” chuckled Karen. “Her personality came out more and more the longer I had her.”

Homeless no more: Chloe is adopted

After a month in Karen’s care, Chloe’s health was much improved and she was spayed and ready for adoption. Karen jumped at the chance to honorably adopt this new tiny friend, and both Karen’s home and heart grew with the addition of four little feet. 

This Marine veteran had long been interested in adopting another dog before she met Chloe. When she picked up an informational pamphlet about the Pets For Patriots’ program at a local spring festival, she knew the program was for her.

“You do need to have a big heart to rescue an older or special needs pet from a shelter and the fact that Pets for Patriots encourages veterans to do that that is one of the things that makes this such an outstanding program,” remarks Karen.

“I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me and also for all the animals who might not have been adopted for one reason or another,” she continues. “If you are looking to add to your family, adopting a pet through Pets For Patriots can make you extremely happy.”

Chloe has experienced both the good and bad sides of human nature. She suffered through years of neglect and abuse in a puppy mill, but after being rescued by a Marine with a kind and compassionate heart, she got her second chance. Chloe can now be found happily snuggling on the couch right next to Karen. 

“She always needs to be touching me,” beams Karen. “Chloe has added so much happiness to my home and she is worth her weight in gold.”

How has your special needs pet changed your life?


  1. Harry

    Appreciate to you, Karen
    you rich loving
    i read this story drops my tears
    wonderful story.
    Thanks Karen for your love to animal

  2. doggie bag

    Another failed foster!!! haaaaa!! We’ve all been there…take in a dog to “foster”, and the little rascals take our hearts instead!!! Good for you, Karen!! And you are right about her chances of being adopted…you saved a life, and hopefully she will forget about all the bad things before you took her into your loving arms!!! I hope that you will be together for many years to come!!!

  3. Inge Williams

    Karen,you are wonderful…..whenever I read such a story it brings tears of joy into my eyes.

    This world is a better place because of people like you,Karen and these wonderful little creatures give so much back with their unconditional love,their happiness and their friendship…..

    Thank you 🙂

  4. southernlites

    Shelter babies are the best in the world. Two of mine came from there and there is never a day that goes by that they don’t repay me with a kiss or something funny, when the only thing is loving them is all the ‘payment’ I need.

  5. Bigfatreddawg

    Bless you Karen for giving Chloe the love she deserves 🙂

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