Mimi The Chihuahua Needs New Knees

Mimi, right, sits with Dexter the cat before she was placed with a family. (Photo by Last Hope Animal Rescue)

Mimi is almost two years old. Her knees are already gone.

That isn’t normal. But Last Hope Animal Rescue at 3300 Beltagh Ave. in Wantagh wants to make sure Mimi lives a happy and healthy life.

“Two weeks ago, [people from Last Hope] were at Brookhaven [Animal Shelter] and were about to leave, but someone said we have a chihuahua with a kitten,” Joanne Anderson, outreach coordinator at Last Hope, said.

Yes, a chihuahua with a kitten. The duo were inseparable when they met. Mimi was shaking until she met Dexter, a polydactyl kitten. Thanks to Dexter, Mimi significantly calmed down. But due to Mimi’s condition, the two unfortunately had to part ways.

Sandy Addona, a trainer at Last Hope, sits with Mimi during the Bowlathon.
(Photo by Last Hope Animal Rescue)

“She has frog legs,” Anderson said. “It’s like how a frog’s legs are hunched down. For the first couple of days, we had to separate them. Mimi’s been in a foster home in Merrick since then and has been seeing a specialist.”

Last Hope originally planned to have a fundraiser for cats and dogs with special needs. But when they found out about Mimi, everything changed.

The rescue group, founded in 1981, went on a mission to save Mimi. Thus, Last Hope reshaped its Bowlathon on Sunday, Feb. 2, calling it “Bowl For Mimi.”

The event, held at Levittown Lanes, had about 80 people in attendance. Each donated $25 to bowl and for pizza, along with 50/50 raffles and baskets.

“She represents the failure of pet ownership and the cruelty that people inflict on animals daily,” Linda Stuurman, president of Last Hope, said.

Mimi was reportedly found on Jan. 9, in Mastic Beach. Someone brought her to the Brookhaven Animal Shelter soon after. While her microchip traces back to a Brooklyn hospital, they don’t have her registered, which means her background is unclear.

The only thing the staff at Last Hope knows is this is a dog that needs help.

“Our annual budget is $500,000,” Stuurman said. “A good third or more goes to veterinary care, like spay, neuter, vaccines, etc. We treat our rescued cats and dogs like family pets. That’s just what we do.”

After seeing multiple veterinarians, Mimi was diagnosed with patellar luxation, a type of kneecap dislocation. The worst part, Anderson said, is that it’s affecting both knees. The cost to perform surgery on Mimi will be about $7,500. Each knee will be done separately, spread out by at least two months.

“There are four stages of this and she’s grade four, which is the worst grade of it,” Anderson said. “When it’s much less of a problem, you can manipulate the knee back in place. For her to be this bad this young, it’s most likely a genetic thing. Poor nutrition would add to it.”

The goal for Last Hope is to place more than 800 pets into loving homes throughout the year.

Last Hope is accepting donations for not just Mimi, but for the entire rescue. They can be contacted at 631-425-1884.


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