Chihuahua that survived cliff fall, maltipoo that defended puppy from coyote attack up for adoption

SAN DIEGO - A 3-month-old Chihuahua that survived an 80-foot fall over Sunset Cliffs a couple of weeks ago is available for adoption, the San Diego County Department of Animal Services announced Monday.

The three-pound pooch, now named Clifford, didn't have identification tags or a collar when he was rescued. The Department of Animal Services' Spirit Fund covered the cost of the treatment.

"Clifford has made tremendous strides in his recovery from the fall and he will soon be ready for his new forever home," said Dawn Danielson, the department head.

Applications are available online at They can then be printed and faxed to (619) 767-2706 or mailed to the Department of Animal Services at 5480 Gaines St., San Diego, CA 92110, with the words "Attention: Clifford Adoption." The forms can also be delivered to any of the three County animal shelters.

The applications are due by the close of business Saturday, Feb. 2. Clifford should be ready to go home in a couple of weeks, according to the department.

Meanwhile, more than 60 applications have been received for 2-year-old Sophie, a maltipoo injured when it held off an attack by a coyote on her 7-month-old canine companion in their East County backyard, according to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe.

Because of the interest, center officials want prospective adopters to write a 300-word essay on why they would provide Sophie with the best home.

Both Sophie and the dog it protected, another maltipoo, were given up by their owners out of fear they couldn't defend themselves. The other dog, which was uninjured, has already been adopted.

Their story recently aired nationally on Fox News, and applications have been received from as far away as Columbia, S.C., Washington, D.C., and Detroit, according to the animal center.

Applications can be downloaded at and mailed, along with the essays, to 6461 El Apajo Road, Post Office Box 64, Rancho Santa Fe, CA. 92067. They can also be faxed to (858) 756-0605 or emailed to

The deadline for Sophie is Feb. 10.

Print this article Back to Top