HAYDEN - The five dogs, a Chihuahua, two Dachshunds, a Welsh Corgi and a Shih Tzu mix, had a few things in common.
They were small, they were young, and they were at the Humane Society of Central Washington in Yakima.
The other was they were soon to be euthanized.
That's when Rondi Renaldo got the call Monday. "Can you take small dogs?"
"We're rescuing them," said the executive director of the Kootenai Humane Society.
Tuesday, all five were off death row and in kennels at the KHS shelter. Eyes were gleaming, tongues were hanging, tails were wagging.
Renaldo was confident they could find homes for them.
"It's such a great feeling to be able to save the lives of these dogs," she said.
Included in the bunch were Hermes, a 3-year-old male miniature Dachshund; Daisha, a 1-year-old female Dachshund; Traviesa, a 2-year-old female Shih Tzu, and a pair, Cheech, a year-old male Chihuahua, and Chong, a year-old male Welsh Corgi.
Each of the five newcomers is healthy, although Hermes limped on his right hind leg.
"They're picture perfect," Renaldo said.
She said the Yakima Humane Society doesn't have the market for small dogs.
"Nobody seems to want them over there," she said.
KHS doesn't accept dogs from out of the area if the shelter at the end of Ramsey Road is at capacity.
"I always make sure we take care of Kootenai County first," Renaldo said.
But the shelter isn't full, and small dogs are easy to adopt out, she said. They don't require large kennels and can be kept in smaller carriers or with a foster family until a permanent home is found. She said small dogs are often great companions for older residents.
"They fly out the doors here," she said. "We don't get them in as much as we would like to."
After giving "wish list" people first crack at the new arrivals, they'll be available to the public.
Monday's rescue mission came about when a relative of a KHS board member was in Yakima and dropped by the shelter. It was then she learned that several little dogs were about to be put down.
After getting the green light from Renaldo, she fit five dogs in her car and headed for home.
"The sad part was, there were eight to 10 more of them," Renaldo said.
Renaldo would love to establish a transport system that would move dogs and cats from one shelter to another where they might have a better chance of being adopted.