CONTINUED - Cleft Palate Chihuahua inspires
a Foundation for Special Needs Pets…Part II

By Rebecca Kaplan
Published June 18, 2012
The tube-feeding of Mia continued for the two years of Mia’s life, five-times a day, until she passed away.

“Life with Mia was a lot of work,” Rogers said. “We had to plan activities and outings around her and her schedule…Life got a bit easier when we bought a van (the Mia Mobile) to better care for her when we were away from home.”

Mia’s needs brought her everywhere with Rogers, from trips to the store, restaurants, and even on vacation.

“Life was hard, but it was also the most rewarding, emotional, and loving two years of my life,” Rogers said, adding that she never once second-guessed her decision not to euthanize Mia.

“When Mia was a few days old, one of my neighbors made a rude comment about how much money I had spent on a dog,” she said. “I came home and saw Mia with her mom and siblings and I just stood there crying. Juliet, the mom, looked at me and then licked Mia on her head and then look at me again. I watched Mia trying so hard to be a normal four-day-old puppy and knew right then and there that I was doing the right thing.”

Mia lost her battle on April 11, 2012 from complications due to her cleft palate. Her death was mourned not only by Rogers and her family but also by her Facebook fans, who said her life was inspirational.

“I was drawn to Mia because she was, and still is, a beacon of light and hope in a world where there seems to be so much darkness,” said Jessica Stehr, one of Mia’s many Facebook fans. “She’s a reminder that no matter how tiny or sick you may be, you should never give up and live life to the fullest…Whenever I was feeling lousy, I’d go to Mia’s page and look at her smiling face and be reminded that if a one and a half pound dog can smile and live happily through the hand she was dealt, then I am going to get up, dust myself off, and do the same thing.”

Mia’s short life inspired Rogers to start a foundation in her memory.

“The main goal of The Mia Foundation is to be a source of information for others wanting to take the risk with a special baby,” she said. “I had little support with Mia and felt so alone.”

Rogers also said that, down the road, The Mia Foundation will help people with the medical bills accrued from taking care of special needs pets. The Mia Foundation is currently 501c3 pending.

Mia isn’t the only special needs pet that Rogers has taken in.

“I also have Hope, a Chihuahua-Miniature Pinscher mix from a puppy mill in Kentucky,” she said. “She was born with no front legs and was brought to the point to be euthanized. A rescuer called me and we had her transported to New York.”

Rogers is not sure what draws her to special needs pets.

“I just think they deserve a chance at life just as a special [needs] human child would have,” she said. “Yes, they may need surgeries and they may need wheels to help them. But Mia and Hope were two of the happiest little dogs I have ever met.”

Mia also isn’t the last special needs pet Rogers will care for. She recently took in a Chihuahua born with Scoliosis named Max and a Boxer puppy named Marley with a cleft palate.

A walk is being held for Mia on June 23 in Seneca Park in Rochester, NY. All proceeds from the walk will go directly to benefit The Mia Foundation. For more information on Mia and The Mia Foundation can be found at or EndBx