This incredible story of orphan chihuahua “Wiggles” and how she received state-of-the-art surgery for her crippled back will warm your heart!

With 12 incredible programs combining the healing power of people and animals, Helen Woodward Animal Center has seen its fair share of amazing creatures – from sloths, to puppies to blue-tongued skinks!   The Center’s latest resident, however, is unlike any the staff has ever seen… a spirited little Chihuahua, named Wiggles, whose reconstructed spine and knees verge on supernatural.  Once considered a potential invalid, Wiggles the RoboDog is flying high with her bionic bits and is ready to find her “super human” forever family!

Wiggles arrived at Helen Woodward Animal Center in May of 2013 when she was only 4 months old.  Transferred from a Los Angeles area rescue facility, there was very little background information on the tiny, loving canine that wiggled when she walked.  Upon arrival, however, Center volunteers noticed that her unique wiggle seemed to be stemming from some crippling in her back legs.  A full medical exam revealed a serious spinal deformity that was causing numbness and lameness to her back legs, hips and knees.  Without medical care, Wiggles would eventually lose her ability to walk altogether.

The last 10 months have been challenging for this special, little Chihuahua, only demonstrating that her unwavering spirit and enthusiasm for life are no less than heroic.  Receiving state-of-the-art medical care costing the Center over $7,000; including x-rays, an MRI, surgery, done by a surgical specialist, to realign and fuse her back and reconstructive knee surgery to remedy medical patellar luxation (a condition where the knee cap slips out of the groove), Wiggles never lost her tail-wagging affection.  She arrived to therapy each day with renewed energy and excitement to try out the impressive abilities of her reconstructed body.

“We have all fallen in love with her,” stated Animal Care Supervisor Amy Barnes. “Every now and then you meet a dog that has qualities you wished you possessed yourself.  That’s Wiggles.  She’s beyond human.  Beyond dog.  She lives life with such gusto.  She’s our little RoboDog with the heart and bravery of a superhero.”



Wiggles is currently just over 1 year old, happy and healed and ready to find her forever family.  For more information or to adopt Wiggles, please go to, contact Helen Woodward Animal Center Adoption Department at: 858-756-4117 ext. 1, or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

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