A 5-pound Chihuahua survived three nights of freezing temperatures after being packed into a disposable diaper box and abandoned on the West Plains, officials said.
A man out for a walk spotted the cardboard Huggies box alongside some railroad tracks near the intersection of Craig and Medical Lake-Four Lakes roads.
The box was sealed with masking tape. It had been there for at least three days before the man, who didn’t want to be identified, went to investigate Tuesday afternoon, Spokane County animal control officials said.
He opened it and discovered the frightened dog inside, said Nancy Sattin, director of Spokane County Animal Control.
The was no food or water in the box, only a paper towel soaked with urine and feces, Sattin said.
“It was far off the road in a real remote area,” she said. “And it was so close to the railroad tracks that it gives me the horrible feeling that someone actually put him on the tracks, but his moving around in the box knocked it off.”
Animal Control Officer Sheri Kent collected the Chihuahua and took him to the county shelter in the Valley, where the staff dubbed the black dog, “Nick.”
“That’s for ‘in the nick of time,”’ Sattin said.
“I wanted to call him Lucky, but everybody said that’s what we always call them.”
Nick was recovering nicely Thursday, sporting a new red collar and taking turns snuggling in the laps of shelter workers.
Sattin said the shelter will hold the 6-year-old dog until next week to see if his owner comes forward. If not, Nick likely will be put up for adoption.
Prospective owners will be screened to make sure the dog goes to a good home, Sattin said. “He’s going to have some special needs,” she said.
In the meantime, animal control officers are looking for the person who apparently left the dog for dead.
“It’s a crime in Washington to abandon an animal,” Sattin said.
Anyone with information may call Spokane County Animal Control at 458-2532.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo