Pit Bull becomes hero to Chihuahua friend

Pit Bull Joanie (left) took care of Chachi by licking Chihuahua’s eye wound and carrying the small dog when he was too tired to walk. (Photo credit: Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Dept.)

Animal Control Officers from the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department are calling one very special dog a hero today after the lovable tan-and-white Pit Bull Terrier rescued and cared for her wounded Chihuahua friend.

When Joanie and Chachi were found wandering around a Savannah, Georgia, neighborhood earlier this month, it was clear the pair had some serious love for one another. Poor Chachi’s eye had been seriously injured sometime during the dogs’ time on the loose, and Joanie carefully tended to Chachi by licking his swollen eye wound and carrying him softly in her mouth when he could no longer walk.

“It’s not every day we get to see such devotion between two special dogs like this,” Animal Control Officer Christina Sutherin says in a post made to the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department’s Facebook page. “They are both such sweet animals. But the relationship they share just sets them apart.”

Officers brought the pair to the Animal Control shelter, where veterinarians examined poor Chachi to see the extent of his eye injury. Unfortunately, Chachi’s eye was beyond saving, and infection was setting in and causing him a great deal of pain, so doctors removed what remained of his eye and stitched him up. It has not been determined what might have caused Chachi’s injury.

In the first few days after Chachi’s surgery, ABC News reports that staff kept him and his BFF separate. But on July 15, veterinarians determined that Chachi’s wound had healed just enough for him and his pal Joanie to have some supervised snuggle time together. Joanie and Chachi’s emotional reunion was punctuated with plenty of “licking, whining, caressing, and cuddling.”

“Staff is amazed at the dedication and love these two have for one other,” explains Sutherin, who promises that Joanie and Chachi had “get-together time” with one another daily after vets gave the go-ahead.

Animal Control staff initially suspected the dogs’ owner would come forward, but he or she never did. When Joanie and Chachi, who made international news, were put up for adoption, the shelter received inquiries from all over the world.

“It would be wonderful if we could find a home that could take both of them,” Sutherin says. “But that is not always possible.”

According to WJCL, Sutherin and staff have finally gotten their wish — Joanie and Chachi will soon be transported to their new home in nearby Florida.

“They truly appear to be soul mates,” Sutherin says.

The pair is named after characters featured on the once-popular TV show Happy Days, and later Joanie Loves Chachi.

Sources: WJCL, ABC News, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department’s Facebook page