LAS VEGAS (KSNV/CNN) - A 3-month-old miniature chihuahua named Chewy was left inside an airport bathroom over the weekend. Also left behind, a handwritten note.
“My owner was in an abusive relationship and couldn’t afford to get me on the flight,” the note reads. “She didn’t want to leave me, with all her heart,...but she has no other option.”
After Chewy was found he ended up in the hands of a local dog rescue.
“I cried,” said Darlene Blair of Connor & Millie Rescue. “This one really got to me. You could tell by the way the note was written that the woman was in dire stress and she didn’t want to give him up and she couldn’t take him with her.”
Experts say this is a common unintended consequence of domestic violence.
Lori Nelson works with Noah’s Animal House, a safe place that keeps sheltered women and children with their pets. The boarding house has helped more than 1,000 pets in the last 10 years.
“There’s absolutely an option out there,” Nelson said of abuse victims who want their pets with them as they seek safety. “The animal is equally a member of the family as anyone else, and it’s vital that when you’re leaving a domestic violence situation that your pet can come with you.”
Blair hopes the word gets out.
“I know it’s hard when you’re in that situation to trust someone, but there are good people out there, and if you’re in that situation and you need help to take your dog with you, try to to be too afraid to ask for help,” she said.
Airport officials want to remind pet owners that the airport is not a place to leave an animal, since it’s impossible to know who will pick it up, or when.
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