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article image‘Chili dog’ — The Chilean stray dog who found fortune in Seattle

By Igor I. Solar     Jun 21, 2013 in Odd News
Santiago - Until about a month ago, "Chili dog" was just one of thousands of stray dogs roaming the streets of Valparaiso in search of food and affection. Today he lives with a family in Seattle, Washington, who fell for him and decided to give him a home.
After disembarking from a cruise ship in Valparaiso in February, and while visiting some of the sights of the Chilean port, the O'Connor family met a dog that looked at them straight in the eyes, followed them everywhere and ruined some of their photos. They called him "Chili dog". Kaylan O'Connor, 25, was delighted with the dog, but after about eight hours of his company, the O’Connors had to continue their trip.
 Chili dog  at the time he decided to adopt the O Connor family of Seattle  Washington  during their...
"Chili dog" at the time he decided to adopt the O'Connor family of Seattle, Washington, during their visit to the port of Valparaiso, Chile.
The emotional connection, however, had been established. "He was sweet and followed us the rest of the time we were there. We knew he needed a home, "said Kaylan. Upon her return to Seattle, she began efforts to locate the dog and bring him to the USA. She contacted the organization “Animal Defense and Rescue Team” (EDRA) in Santiago; she sent them a photograph of the animal and requested assistance in locating the dog. If necessary, Kaylan would return to Chile to adopt "Chili dog" and bring him to Seattle.
"She contacted us by email and told us that they had fallen in love with a dog on the street in Valparaiso and asked us for help to find him and send him to the United States. I thought it was a joke, so I replied that I needed US$ 100 to fund the search. Within 20 minutes I received a deposit of US$ 200, and the next day I started the operation in search of “Chili dog”" said Alexis Castillo, founder and director of EDRA.
Led by EDRA, some dog loving people
 WANTED  poster prepared by the “Animal Defense and Rescue Team” (EDRA) of Santiago as part of t...
"WANTED" poster prepared by the “Animal Defense and Rescue Team” (EDRA) of Santiago as part of their search for "Chili Dog".
of Valparaiso started a city-wide campaign to find “Chili dog”. EDRA had 400 posters printed and several volunteers cruised the streets and hills of Valparaiso on bicycles looking for the dog.
After a month, and when hopes of locating “Chili dog” were nearly lost, Castillo received an email from a volunteer who helps and sterilizes animals in Valparaiso. "I found it!” said the message. After comparing the dog with the photos sent from Seattle, there was no doubt; the dog was identical to “Chili dog”.
Travel preparations for “Chili dog” were not easy and took almost two months. After being bathed, neutered, vaccinated, and finding an airline willing to transport him to the United States as an "unaccompanied pet", all of which cost over US$ 2000, Chili Dog finally arrived in Seattle on May 28 and was reunited with his new family.
In Chile, there are almost 3 million stray dogs. Only in Valparaiso, stray dogs number more than 100,000. Many receive food from charitable people, but most remain homeless, without love, supervision and veterinary care. "Chili dog", was very lucky to find the love of a family who made great efforts to adopt him. Suddenly, he changed from a hungry stray dog to living as a prince in his new home in Seattle.
 Chili Dog  now enjoys a comfortable life in his new home with the O Connor family of Seattle  WA.
"Chili Dog" now enjoys a comfortable life in his new home with the O'Connor family of Seattle, WA.
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