For weeks, a small tan Chihuahua mix was on the lam in San Diego. Citizens would spot him occasionally and try to rescue him or call the Humane Society, but every time someone got close, the pup would dart away.
He was in bad situations multiple times, and many worried he’d be hit by a car as he wandered on and off the roads.
“It actually started about two weeks ago, one of my colleagues got a call that there was a dog on the freeway on the 15 off of Friars road,” Susan Blackburn of the San Diego Humane Society told KFMB-TV.
Blackburn said countless calls came into the organization, but every time they’d set out to secure the pup, he would evade them again. They even set food traps and engaged the help of the California Highway Patrol, to no avail.
Then, on Tuesday, two women working at an office near Murphy Canyon got a call from a fellow co-worker about a little lost dog outside.
“She said there was a dog running through the parking lot without a collar, and could I bring some food down that he might eat?” Linda Lynch said. “So I opened up my drawer and I saw a bag of Cheetos. And I thought, what dog doesn’t love Cheetos?”
The women didn’t know the history of the dog but managed to get him to eat a few. Eventually, the Humane Society was called. Blackburn arrived and secured the area’s most-wanted dog, finally caught thanks to a few tasty treats and some wet cat food.
It was only fitting that he was dubbed “Cheeto Murphy,” though it appears his tastes have shifted.
“We’ve been giving him hot dogs,” Blackburn said. “He’s going away from Cheetos. He’s liking other things now. … He really is sweet. He doesn’t want to be fearful. He doesn’t want to be mean, but he definitely needs to trust someone.”
“A scared Chihuahua who has been running stray near and on I-15 and Friars Rd. since Jan. 14 is finally safe at San Diego Humane Society tonight!” the San Diego Humane Society posted on Facebook on Tuesday.
“After 6 rescue attempts from our Humane Officers and California Highway Patrol, the dog was finally lured to safety with help from good Samaritans, Cheetos and a trail of wet cat food.
“Our Humane Officers have named this elusive dog ‘Cheeto Murphy,’ and he is now resting comfortably at our San Diego Campus after being checked by our medical team.
“Since he has no microchip, Cheeto Murphy will be placed on stray hold in the hopes that his owner comes forward.”
One woman who had interacted with Cheeto Murphy commented on the Humane Society’s post to say she was glad he was finally safe but she had a different name suggestion.
“So happy Officer Blackburn arrived when she did & we were so grateful that she was so patient & compassionate with him,” Kellie Cooper Holiday wrote. “I love his new name as they were clearly his chips of choice but I think BOLT would be a suitable middle name because every time I tried to get him to come to me he bolted! ‘Cheeto Bolt Murphy.’
“Bless his sweet heart & I pray he finds an amazing furever home!”
According to Lynch’s coworker, Caroline Brewer, some other coworkers have expressed interest in the dog, so it likely won’t be long before Cheeto Murphy finds a new, permanent home.
“We have a couple of coworkers who are kind of thinking they might be interested,” Brewer said. “So if one of our coworkers could adopt him, that’d be a great full circle.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.