a small dog standing on a man's feet
Photo by Stacey Axelrod/ASPCA

The first time I saw Mervin, he was burrowed under a blanket with just his little head sticking out, barking (or yelling, as I like to call it), at nothing in particular. He clearly had a lot to say. I could feel that there was something special about this little guy.

a man holds a small dog tucked into his jacket
Mervin fits right in with Joey Teixeira. Photo by Stacey Axelrod/ASPCA

He came to the ASPCA Adoption Center as an emaciated stray with bad knees that both needed surgical repair. He also had severe dental disease and had to have all of his teeth removed. Needless to say, with all of those medical problems and the pain he was in, he was not the quickest to warm up to people.

He had been in the shelter (and in and out of foster homes) for about three months before I brought him home as a foster. He quickly became part of our pack (I already had four other rescues, three dogs and one cat), and he seemed to just fit right in. My fiancé and I fell in love with him. When it came time, we couldn’t bring him back—so we finalized the adoption, and he became an official part of our family.

Mervin lives a wonderful life now. We have since adopted another Chihuahua, so he now has five siblings, and he loves each one. He has 30,000 followers on Instagram alone, and he uses his social media popularity to help spread awareness of important animal issues like adoption and proper pet care, as well as to help end dogfighting rings, puppy mills and the cruel practice of factory farming. When he is not being a voice for his fellow animals, he enjoys being a normal dog and hanging out and traveling around NYC with his dads.

- Joey Teixeira
Manager, Client Relations,
New York, NY

Printer Friendly, PDF & Email


University of Florida Shelter Medicine Program