Executive Director Florida Keys SPCA

Every year, the Florida Keys SPCA answers hundreds of emergency animal calls from Key West all the way up to mile marker 70. Some begin tragically – but many end in a tear-filled reunion between owner and pet or a heart-warming beginning as a deserving animal finds a new forever home.

In this new weekly column for KonkLife, I’d like to tell you about some of these wonderful animals. As the saying goes, “there are eight million stories in the naked city.” Well, sometimes it seems as if there are just about that many animal tales in the Florida Keys.

Our first story begins with a fire. In January 2017 an early morning fire roared through a home in Big Pine Key – completely destroying the house. Fortunately, the occupants of the house were able to escape and quickly left town to live with friends.

The next afternoon, as the house was still smoldering, Animal Control Officers received a call from concerned neighbors when they saw a small tan Chihuahua running loose on the destroyed property. Sheriff’s Deputies and Animal Control Officers responded to the call and saw the Chihuahua circling a shed in the far back corner of the property hidden by the rubble of the collapsed home.

There, behind a bolted door, was the face of a white dog poking her nose out from under a corner. The residents had apparently left their destroyed home and abandoned their dogs in the locked shed! Undeterred, she had chewed a small hole in the door in a desperate attempt to escape. The hole was just large enough for her smaller Chihuahua friend to squeeze through and run for help — which is exactly what the Chihuahua did.

Monroe County Sheriffs broke down the door and freed the frightened white dog – who was ecstatic to be rescued and reunited with her Chihuahua friend.

We named the little Chihuahua “Roscoe” and the white cattle dog, “Phoenix.” After a brief stay at the FKSPCA to recover from minor injures, they were both adopted into loving forever homes. The courage and tenacity shown by these two dogs is an inspiring lesson for us all!

If you’d like to help more animals like Roscoe and Phoenix, please donate to our new shelter building fund by going to