Must-See Rescue Photos: From Hairless ‘Fruit Bat’ to Super-Cute Chihuahua

For Immediate Release:
October 6, 2014

Katie MacDonald 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – When PETA’s fieldworkers first met the dog they named Roussette—French for “fruit bat”—because of her oversized ears, the young Chihuahua mix was running loose in a trailer park in Northampton County, N.C. She had to sleep under a piece of plywood and was suffering from a severe skin condition that had left her nearly hairless with raw, scaly patches of inflamed skin, “before” and “after” photos are available here. It turned out that Roussette had demodectic mange, which typically affects malnourished, sick, or stressed animals. Since her owner couldn’t provide any assurance that she’d treat Roussette or let the dog live safely indoors, she allowed PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—to take Roussette to a veterinarian and find her a new home.

That’s when PETA took to social media—and the second that South Carolina resident Linda Day saw the Facebook photos of Roussette, it was love at first sight. A PETA staffer drove nearly eight hours to deliver Roussette to Linda, who threw a “Welcome Home, Roussette!” party, complete with balloons, to greet the little dog—who, thanks to medical care and proper nutrition while in PETA foster care, had regrown her healthy, shiny black fur. Linda was so excited that she cried when she held Roussette for the first time.

One of Linda’s dogs had recently passed away, and she’d been eager to find a companion for her remaining dog, SassC. Roussette immediately fit in with the family “pack.” Linda describes her as “a cute little blessing” who’s already famous around town—people come up to Linda and Roussette on their walks and say that they recognize the dog from Linda’s Facebook posts. Roussette loves cuddling with Linda, carrying around her favorite toy rabbit, and playing tug-of-war with SassC. “I am very, very happy that I was blessed to adopt this baby,” Linda says. “Every time I think about her and where she’s come from, it brings tears to my eyes.”

More information about Roussette is available on PETA’s blog.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind