Ponch, the stray Chihuahua who captured hearts around the nation after he sprinted across the Bay Bridge early this month, has finally found a home.
After being rescued by California Highway Patrol April 3, Ponch went to stay with a foster family connected to San Francisco County's animal services department. His caretakers waited several weeks to see if someone would come forward and claim ownership – Ponch had a collar with a skull dangling from it when he was captured – but no one stepped up.
Instead, offers from animal lovers all over the world came flooding in, asking if it would be possible to give the 10-pound Chihuahua a new home. Animal Care and Control conducted several interviews, according to the department, before settling on a suitable family for Ponch. He was scheduled to go home Thursday, after his rescuers have a chance to bid him farewell.
“Taking into consideration that Ponch is a nervous fellow who loves to run, his new home and family are perfectly suited to give him the happily-ever-after life,” Animal Care and Control said in a statement. The family adopting him wishes to remain anonymous.
Ponch’s story went viral following an early morning police chase that resulted in a short shutdown of the Bay Bridge. The pup, who was visibly frightened, was darting across lanes of traffic.
The California Highway Patrol officers involved in his rescue nicknamed the pup “Ponch,” after Erik Estrada’s character in the 1970s TV hit “CHIPS.”
“We’re happy that Ponch’s story has ended with a loving new home”, says Animal Care & Control Executive Director Virginia Donohue. “We’re grateful for all of the good will Ponch has generated for shelter dogs.”