My name is Benji!

Chihuahua Mix Dog for adoption in Ridgefield, Connecticut - Benji
Photo 1 - Chihuahua Mix Dog for adoption in Ridgefield, Connecticut - Benji
Photo 2 - Chihuahua Mix Dog for adoption in Ridgefield, Connecticut - Benji
Photo 3 - Chihuahua Mix Dog for adoption in Ridgefield, Connecticut - Benji
Photo 4 - Chihuahua Mix Dog for adoption in Ridgefield, Connecticut - Benji
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I'm being cared for by:
Looking Glass Animal Rescue

Facts about Benji

  • Breed: Chihuahua Mix
  • Color: Red/Golden/Orange/Chestnut
  • Age: Adult
  • Size: Small 25 lbs (11 kg) or less
  • Sex: Male
  • ID#: 10008579

Meet Benji, a 6 year old Chihuahua mix who has had a heartbreakingly rough start.  Benji’s owner passed away and Benji was found underweight with his toenails painfully grown into his paw pads.  No one knows how long he and his owner waited to be discovered, but we do know that it was a traumatic experience for Benji.  Understandingly, this guy came into rescue very untrusting of people and needed help learning a new way of interacting with humans.  Benji was sent through a rehabilitation program to teach him how to be a confident, trusting, well-behaved boy who learned to enjoy the company of people!  Now that he is finishing up his rehabilitation, he is looking for a home that will work with his trainer to help give him a smooth, successful, lifelong transition.  Benji is cute-as-a-button and will thrive in the right home- one that will be willing to spend time working with him and his trainer to help teach him that he is completely safe and secure.  This boy’s new home will need to be open to taking responsibility for creating the home environment that resonates with Benji’s psychological needs, which will be clearly explained while working with his trainer.

Benji absolutely adores his trainer, trusts her completely, and allows her to handle him without any complaint.  He walks beautifully on a leash, behaves nicely around other dogs- male and female, is housebroken and crate trained, and knows how to sit on command.  Benji still gets worried when new people try to pick him up, but relaxes as he trusts the person.  He continues to work on feeling comfortable being touched under his belly and picked up while in his rehab program.

Benji is looking for a home that will take the time to understand him and work with him to build a relationship prior to adoption to help ease the transition.  He has gone through so much and we want to make sure the next chapter of his life includes people who are committed to creating an environment that allows Benji to blossom.  He will do best in a home that can provide calm, confident leadership, so that he can feel completely safe knowing that he no longer must guard or protect his space.  It is so important for a dog to have a person who provides a strong foundation upon which the dog can rely.  While it is tempting to baby a dog like Benji, who has had a difficult beginning, he would prefer a home that took the time to understand his canine psychology first and offered love by meeting his unique needs. Once he is completely stable, he can be spoiled! His trainer is willing to work closely with Benji and prospective adopters to establish this relationship based on mutual trust and understanding. 

Benji is available through Looking Glass Animal Rescue, a 501 (c)(3) non profit.  We require an adoption application, reference checks and home visit.  A tax deductible adoption fee is required.  All dogs are altered, vaccinated and microchipped.  Please see our website for questions on our process,


About Looking Glass Animal Rescue

About Our Rescue Group...

Looking Glass Animal Rescue (“LGAR”) is a nonprofit volunteer-based animal welfare organization dedicated to rescuing dogs from high-kill shelters, hoarding situations, puppy mills, animal fighting rings and more. While we welcome all animals in need, we specifically focus on animals that are often overlooked due to age, breed, special need or an illness or injury requiring immediate, often costly medical attention that shelters are unable to provide. Without a rescue outlet, these animals would otherwise be euthanized due to their issues.

Lastly, for each animal that we place, we provide extensive education on how to transition the animal into their new life. Basics like crate training, housetraining, obedience training, and the best ways to introduce resident pets are integral for the success of the relationship. When necessary we will also engage professional trainers for those animals that need specific behavior modification in an effort to help our animals and their new family position themselves for success. Mental health is as important as physical health and we believe that every animal should be given the chance to lead a life free of fear and anxiety. Like psychologists, professional trainers are often the only ones equipped to transition an abused animal from the life that once "was" to the life that "could be". Our goal is to ensure that all of our animals become a cherished and welcomed member of their new family for the remainder of their lives.

Without you, we don't exist!
Launching a rescue is hard…and we are determined to do it right; which means that we have personally funded every aspect of our administrative and online build out BEFORE we started asking for help or pulling dogs from shelters. We didn’t just “hang up a shingle” and wing it. I can honestly say that we took every day of the last four and a half months, and painstaking planned out every possible scenario, making sure that we clearly defined our mission, values and vision and put together a comprehensive business plan with contingencies (which is available upon request) because we take saving lives very seriously. Sure, rescue starts in the heart but, we also recognized the need for a well thought-out framework for operation including a robust animal and donor management program, a comprehensive website and social media program, concise and explanatory marketing collateral and importantly appropriate staffing (albeit all volunteer) and veterinary partnerships to ensure that when animals come into our care, they are given the best opportunity for a second chance at a new life. Yes, four-plus months and many sleepless nights later, here we are. We are proud to say that we jumped in with our eyes wide open and while we likely didn’t think of everything, we feel pretty good that we are set up for success.

We have done as much as we can on our own and now we need your help. In order to run an organized and sustainable operation, we need three critical things: (1) general funding, (2) foster caregivers and, (3) “word of mouth” marketing. If you can please consider helping us with any one or all (if you can) of these three things. It will mean the difference between life and death for an animal sitting alone in a shelter, waiting for their turn of fate.

Here are three ways to help right now:

•Give: Your gift of any size can give an animal a second chance and even save a life. In addition to knowing that your generous donation will go toward helping an animal in need, you will also have a Paw placed on our LGAR Guardian page with your name as our sign of appreciation and recognition for your selfless gift.

•Share: Help spread the word on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by sharing the news of our launch with all your contacts – don’t forget to “Like” our page and sign up for our e-newsletter!

•Act: Make a face-to-face impact by becoming a Foster Caregiver. When you volunteer as a foster caregiver, you’ll help change lives…including yours!

Board of Directors/Advisory Board/Coordinators

The Board of Directors of LGAR consists of five individuals from varying backgrounds. Jody Harris-Stern is a founder and president of the board. Ms. Harris-Stern has over 17 years of experience in the marketing and development as a senior executive for a number of Wall Street financial firms. She also was a Partner and Board Member of IMAGINE pet rescue, a 501(c) (3) non-profit rescue responsible for the successful placement over 650 animals from nearly 22 different municipal shelters along the east coast. Caren Harrington is a founder and serves as vice president of the board. She has worked as a licensed Realtor for almost 10 years serving New York and Connecticut. Jennifer Simpson is the board treasurer and has been a practicing accountant for over 12 years, holding a CPA license for over 7 years. Maria Daniela Raciti is the board secretary and also serves as director of operations. Ms. Raciti is a former publicist who transitioned into social media marketing two years ago and brings a wealth of expertise and ideas to help promote our advocacy work. Jennifer Venter is a member of the board and serves as the director of development. Ms. Venter has worked as a technology executive for the past 20 years at a major broadcast network. Sherry Stone Schwindler is a member of the board and will serve as our director of foster/adoption programs. In addition, she will be spearheading a proposed relationship with Kindred Hearts Transport Connection and facilitating a potential foster program partnership sourced from the Miami Dade Animal Shelter.

All members have at one time been active for in other animal rescue organizations and have personally fostered and/or rescued dogs in need.

In addition to the Board of Directors, we have established an advisory board, consisting of 5 members: one licensed attorney, one technology and non-profit consultant, one licensed animal behaviorist, one licensed integrative trainer, and one licensed veterinary technician. Their collective expertise and deep knowledge will be invaluable as we embark on this ambitious and exciting journey of saving lives and completing families.

Lastly, Rhee McCarthy will be our Transportation Coordinator. Andrea Serraro Zonder and Connie Isidro-Cordtz will serve as our Adoption/Foster Coordinators assisting in the application processing of potential foster caregivers and adopters.

Donate to Our Rescue Group...

Come Meet Our Pets...

Our organization does not have a shelter where the dogs can be visited. Our dogs are in foster homes. We do NOT arrange meetings between interested individuals and our Fosters until an applicant has been approved via this adoption process.

Once you have been approved, adoption coordinator will contact you about scheduling a time for you to meet the dog(s) you are interested in. This meeting may occur at the foster’s residence or your home.

Our Adoption Process...

Looking Glass Animal Rescue’s goal is to place homeless dogs into loving homes and families. We take special care to match the right home with the right dog, ensuring a lifetime of love for both the pet and the adopter. To ensure the best matches are made, we have a process that has been proven effective in determining the best homes for our animals. Our adoption process may seem time consuming or unnecessarily complicated, but please understand that we have our dogs’ best interests at heart. We strive to find the best homes possible for our dogs, as well as find the right dog for you and your lifestyle.
Please understand that our organization is completely run by unpaid volunteers, who dedicate their free time to help the dogs. If your references are unavailable, it will delay the process, since those must be checked before moving forward. The entire adoption process takes time; we are unwilling to sacrifice being thorough when the dog’s future is at stake. We thank you for your time and patience throughout our adoption process.

Step 1 – Fill out an Adoption Application
The first step is to have you fill out an adoption application and sign the adoption contract. This application will tell us about you and your lifestyle, training beliefs and background with animals. The contract will lay out the requirements you must agree to in order to be considered as a legal adopter of one of our dogs.

Step 2 – Application Preliminary Review
Our President and/or Vice President will initially screen your application to determine if all necessary information was provided. If not you will be contacted to either fill out another application or provide additional information.

Step 3 – Landlord Approval Verified
If it is determined that you rent your home, your landlord will be contacted to make sure you have approval to have a dog in your home. We also ask about any breed or size limitations.
If your landlord does not allow for a dog in your home, your application will be denied at this point in the process.

Step 4 – Veterinary References Contacted
Our adoption coordinator will contact the veterinary reference(s) you provided to determine if all your current pets are spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations. If you don’t have any current pets, we will ask about the veterinary care that your previous pets received. If you have never owned a pet, this step is skipped.

If your veterinary reference(s) cannot verify the spay/neuter and vaccination status of current or previous pets, processing of your application will be stopped until you can provide this information.

Step 5 – Personal References Contacted
Our adoption coordinator will contact your three personal references and ask them questions in regards to whether they consider you to be a responsible pet owner.
This is the portion of the process that can take the most amount of time. It is helpful if you contact your references and ask them to return our calls in a timely manner.

If our reference checking volunteers have any major concerns about adopting a dog to you, based on communication with your references, your application may be denied at this point in the process.

Step 6 – Home Visit and Applicant Interview
Our organization requires home visits to determine that the dog will be living in a safe environment. This is an informal chance for us to get to know you, your lifestyle, home environment and determine which dog(s) in our program might be the best fit. The home visit volunteer will do a short walk-through of your home and yard to ensure its safety and to advise on any areas of concern. All household members must be present for the home visit.

If our home visit volunteers have any major concerns about your home environment, or if you refuse a home visit, your application will be denied at this point in the process.

Step 7 – Meeting between Approved Applicant & Requested or Available Dogs
Our organization does not have a shelter where the dogs can be visited. Our dogs are in foster homes. We do NOT arrange meetings between interested individuals and our Fosters until an applicant has been approved via this adoption process.

Once you have been approved, adoption coordinator will contact you about scheduling a time for you to meet the dog(s) you are interested in. This meeting may occur at the foster’s residence or your home.
Just because you are determined to be an approved adopter, you are NOT guaranteed a particular dog. For some dogs we receive many applications so we may allow multiple applicants to have a meeting with the dog before we choose the home that we feel will be the best fit for the dog. Also, if the volunteer involved in the meeting with you and the dog, does not feel you are a good fit for the dog, you may be denied adoption of that particular dog but you may be allowed to adopt another dog.

Step 8 – Adoption
If you have decided upon a dog that you would like to adopt you are required to provide payment of the adoption donation fee (and spay/neuter deposit if necessary). At that time you become the owner of the dog. We will try to provide a small supply of dog food that will allow you to transition the dogs’ diet to another food when possible.
If at any time you are having issues with the dog, please call us at 914-912-9027 or email your contact person and inform us. A volunteer will be in touch with you ASAP.

Step 9 – Notification of Spay/Neuter & Return of Deposit
If, at the time of adoption, your dog was not already spayed/neutered, you would have been required to agree to spay/neuter your dog and provide us a deposit fee. Our adoption contract requires all dogs to be spayed/neutered within 1 month of adoption or when age appropriate. You are asked to notify us when you have scheduled this surgery and at what vet clinic it is being done. Our volunteers will verify that the dog has been spayed/neutered. Once this has been verified, your deposit check will be returned to you. If you fail to spay/neuter, as outlined in the adoption contract you signed, our organization will take appropriate measures to take back the dog.

Step 10 – Optional Post Adoption Follow-up Visit
Our adoption contract contains a clause that allows one of our volunteers or a representative the ability to perform a follow-up visit. We may require such a visit if we feel that the terms of the adoption contract are not being met. Looking Glass Animal Rescue is committed to the life, health and well-being of every dog we place for the remainder of that dog’s life. Should the adoption not work out or you need to rehome the dog, we require by contract that the dog be returned to us. Please notify us ASAP by calling 914-912-9027 or emailing

Adoption Donation:

The tax-deductible adoption donation covers micro-chipping, medical expenses, boarding fees, training fees, and costs involved in taking care of a dog or a cat until his/her fur-ever home is found. We rescue lots of animals with severe medical conditions and/or ones who take a long time to get adopted. We will cover all the associated expenses while a pet is in our care, whether it is weeks, months, or sometimes years.

Puppies (dogs under 1 year) $400
Dogs over 1 year and under 25 lbs $300
Dogs over 1 year and over 25lbs $250
Dogs over 7 years (Senior) $150
Cats/Kittens N/C-Donations Appreciated

Please note: Puppies under 20 weeks old will not be altered prior to transport to their new adoptive home. It will be the responsibility of the adopter to spay/neuter their pet. In some situations, the rescue may agree to a ’spay/neuter deposit’ of $100, and allow the dog to go with the adopter provided that the new adopter submit proof of the surgery to the rescue in return for their deposit. This is at the discretion of the rescue. LGAR will provide a discounted spay/neuter certificate which can be used at rescue friendly veterinary offices for the procedure. We are happy to help our adopters find a veterinary center that is willing to take the certificate. If there are additional expenses they will be borne by the adopter. Spay/neuter is expected to be performed as soon as medically possible to ensure the health of your new pet.