Local animal shelter helps save Chihuahua with heart surgery

PHOENIX - HALO Animal Rescue helped save a 2-year-old stray Chihuahua by fixing the dog's heart condition, rescue officials say.

Betharoo came to the shelter, which rescues more Chihuahuas than any other dog breed, last October. An initial exam found a heart murmur, which meant Betharoo would need a cardiac ultrasound and echocardiogram, but HALO did not have the equipment necessary to do the tests.

HALO asked the community for donations, and funds were raised to cover the costs of Betharoo's tests. The tests showed that the pup had a small hole in her heart caused by a rare congenital defect, putting her at high risk for heart failure.

A doctor at All Valley Animal Care Center in Boise, Idaho, came to Betharoo's rescue and agreed to donate services to repair her heart. Dr. Kevin Knighton successfully operated on Betharoo on Jan. 26, and Betharoo is now expected to live a long and healthy life.

Betharoo is expected to return to Phoenix on Feb. 13 after recovering from the surgery in Boise, HALO says.

The shelter says they've received multiple offers from people wanting to adopt Betharoo and will work to place her in a new home after she's fully recovered from surgery. 

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