Gi Gi, Granny, Taco and Bingo are all former residents of the Los Angeles area looking for loving homes in Payson.
The four dogs -- two poodles and two chihuahuas -- were nearly euthanized, but local animal-lover Diane Dalton stepped in and saved them.
Dalton, active in the Payson Humane Society, has started her own small-dog rescue operation called Small K-9 Res-Q, with assistance from organizations in California acting like an underground railroad for dogs on death row.
"About a year ago, I thought of the idea because there is such a demand for small dogs in Payson and there aren't any," Dalton said. "We had such a long waiting list for small dogs at the humane society."
Dalton met a woman at the shelter who owns a small dog rescue in Utah and coordinates rescue operations across the Southwest. She was then able to hook up with an organization called Flying Paws, composed of private pilots who fly rescue dogs around the region.
Dalton has cared for many rescued animals at her home outside of Star Valley. Her large property will help her facilitate the new venture.
On April 23, the first batch of pint-sized canines landed at the Payson Airport.
All of Dalton's new arrivals have suffered the effects of neglect and abuse, but all are high-spirited and appear sweet and even-tempered. All have been fixed and vaccinated and are ready to live the second half of their lives with new, caring guardians.
"They were all picked up as strays and when their time was up, an organization called North Star Pet Assistance in Apple Valley, Calif. was called," she said. "They then arranged with Flying Paws to get them to me."
Bingo and Taco, the two chihuahuas, were rescued together and Dalton said they are inseparable.
"They love each other and they have been through so much together that I think they should stay together. Bingo has either allergies or mange and we are treating him for both," Dalton said. "Taco had some dental work and his tongue hangs out. He is adorable."
Gi Gi, an apricot poodle, is about 5 years old and had some mammary tumors recently removed by North Star Pet Assistance.
Granny, a black poodle, is only 10 years old, but neglect has made her a senior citizen before her time.
"She is almost blind and almost deaf, but full of spunk," Dalton said. "She will need eye medications for the rest of her life because her tear ducts don't produce enough water."
While none of Dalton's dogs are pristine show dogs, they are sweet and petite and are sure to give their new owners much satisfaction.
Small K-9 Res-Q is a labor of love for Dalton and fills a niche for area residents who want small dogs who need a little extra care. She is open to accepting financial contributions to cover her costs and those of the organizations she works with.
"I will definitely accept donations because North Star Pet Assistance and Flying Paws did not charge me anything and I will pass some of that money along to them," Dalton said. "Whatever money I get in fees for these dogs I want to send back to them. Some of it will cover my vet expenses, too."
Dalton still works closely with the humane society and plans to call those on the small dog waiting list to see if they would like to adopt any of her new arrivals.
"I am also looking for anyone who would like to help with foster care because I plan on getting more dogs in soon," she said. "I can also help someone who is looking for a specific breed."
Dalton said the adoption fee is approximately $100, but may vary depending on the dog.
To contact Small K-9 Res-Q, call (928) 468-1433.