Joey the Chihuahua has only two legs, but he gets around on them just fine.
The white dog with tan patches was adopted Sunday after a lottery in which the winner was Doug Smith, the supervisor of the shelter that cared for Joey after animal control officers picked him up off the street on Feb. 3.
Smith works for San Bernardino County’s Devore Animal Shelter, and he told ABC News on Monday that he was impressed by the dog's resilience.
“The more I interacted with him the more it was like, ‘you know what? This is a cool little dog. He’s got a great personality on him,’” he said.
“He’ll just follow you around like any other dog would. ... He just kind a struck a chord,” he said, adding that Joey was “just extremely nimble on his two legs.”
Smith said that when his 13-year-old daughter, Rodri, saw a local news broadcast about the dog, “she had to come up to the shelter and see the dog and then she fell in love with him.”
The county put out a press release and video seeking Joey’s possible owner -- Smith even appeared in a video, but after the required 96-hour waiting period elapsed without word, the dog was put up for adoption.
There was competition.
About 20 people were interested in Joey, Smith said, adding that he drew a tag like all of the other aspiring adopters.
“I let everybody else draw first [to avoid] any appearance of impropriety or anything else. It’s just -- it’s a dog I’m interested in adopting it like everybody else,” he said, adding that he even bared his arms to show there was “nothing up my sleeve.”
“I really thought I had no chance of winning this dog but my daughter was in love with this dog. I told her I would try,” he said. “The funny part was when I pulled the number out I held it up for everyone else to see. They told me I won.”
Joey, who’s estimated to be about 5 or 6 years old, went home with Smith on Sunday, where he met the family’s two other dogs, an Australian Cattle Dog and a Beagle.
The introduction went well.
Sunday night “was a little ‘who are you? What are you?’ and when they see him walk they’re a little confused, but overall it was a good night,” Smith said, adding that the dog was already housebroken.
Joey was likely born without his right front and left rear legs, Smith said.
The dog was neutered on Monday.