Scared little dog who kept running away finds the perfect home

A volunteer for a Chihuahua Rescue Center in San Diego got a call about a stray dog taking refuge in a liquor store, and she went to its aid immediately.

Sabrina Wilkerson, a volunteer for the Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego County, was having a relaxing time at home on a rainy afternoon when she got a call from the owner of a liquor store nearby. A chihuahua had taken refuge inside the store and had been there for two hours, looking scared and wet from the rain.

Wilkerson asked the man if the dog was friendly, but he seemed not to know much about dogs and told Sabrina he wouldn’t go near the dog, as she recalled to The Dodo.

Once she arrived at the store, she found the little dog hiding under a shelf with orange juices. The owner of the store had thrown a yellow towel over the dog, trying to get him dry. “He showed us his teeth — he was just stressed out,” Wilkerson said.

The woman coerced the dog to get into a crate and took him straight to the veterinary to make sure he wasn’t hurt. There, she realized that the dog didn’t have a microchip, so she took him back home for one night.

According to the local law, the dog had to be taken into a shelter as a stray to see if anyone would come forward as its owner. So, the next morning Sabrina got the dog into her car and drove him all the way to the county shelter.

But she made a huge mistake.

“I didn’t take him in a crate,” Wilkerson said. “I figured I’d just carry him in my arms. I don’t know what I was thinking — I’d never done this before with a stray.”

As soon as she opened the door, the mischievous dog took off, running away down the street. Sabrina and more people tried to chase him, but they lost him quickly. She was devastated but not ready to give up.

After making lost dog flyers and spreading them through the neighborhood, a woman called Sabrina to tell her she had found the dog and took him to the shelter. Relieved, Wilkerson visited the place the following day to make sure it was the same dog.

The woman’s name was Austin Walker, so Sabrina decided to name the dog after her.

Austin spent a few days in the stray hold, and when no one reclaimed him, Wilkerson offered him a foster home. She’s careful not to let the front door open because Austin seems to have a fascination for running away.

“He seems to like to be out, so whoever adopts him needs to understand his story, and needs to be very careful with front doors … because once he’s out, he just wants to run,” Wilkerson said.

Sabrina has been fostering dogs since 2010 and has given a temporary home to more than 50 stray dogs to this day. She wrote her story on a blog entry for Project Blue Collar and said:

“Fosters are the heart of any rescue organization, and one of my goals is to share the joy that fostering brings; the unconditional love that the dogs so happily give, the amazing personalities that we meet, the way we learn something new from each and every one of them that cross our path.”

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