Chilean Stray Dog Adopted By Washington Family

A stray dog who photobombed a family picture taken in Chile, has been adopted after an arduous month-long search.

The O'Connor family was on a cruise when they stopped in Valparaíso. As the family posed to take a picture, a stray dog jumped up at them.

Kaylan O'Connor instantly fell in love with the stray.

“He jumped at us like saying ‘hello,’” O’Connor told BBC World in a phone interview. “He was sweet and he followed us the rest of the time we were there. We knew he needed a home.”

The family affectionately named the canine Chili Dog, but after eight hours, it was time for them to return to their cruise. Once back in Seattle, Kaylan O'Connor made it her mission to track down her beloved Chili Dog. She looked for someone who would be able to find the dog and transport him back to the United States.

Alexis Castillo, director of Red de Defensores y Rescatistas de Animales (EDRA) in the Chilean capital of Santiago, said she received an email from O'Connor in February asking for help tracking down the canine.

“The email said [O'Connor] had fallen for a stray dog and wanted to arrange transport back to Seattle,” said Castillo. “At first I was skeptical. I replied back and said I needed $100 to pay for expenses in trying to locate the street dog. If I received the money that same day before midnight, I would be able to search for the dog the very next day. Twenty minutes later I had received $200 via Western Union.”

It took Castillo and a small group of volunteers over a month to locate Chili Dog, who was just one of hundreds of thousands of stray dogs in the South American country. After he was found, he was neutered and vaccinated. Castillo then had to convince an airline to transport him to the US, which took about a month after Chili Dog was located.

Chilean stray dog

Altogether, Kaylan O'Connor spent nearly $2,000 arranging to bring Chili Dog home to Seattle, where he finally arrived on May 28 -- three months after the family first encountered him in Valparaíso. He joined two "brothers," Auto and Klaus, whom O'Connor said took to Chili Dog in a way they haven't with other canines.

"Normally my dogs don't like other dogs, but when Chili Dog arrived, they allowed him to in the house and shared their food and water dishes," she said. "I believe they knew that Chili needed a home."

What do you think of the O'Connor family adopting Chili Dog?

[Photos courtesy of: Kaylan O'Connor / Facebook]