HALTOM CITY -- Tinkerbell is a Chihuahua who dances happily on her hind legs when greeting human friends or cuddles in the laps of elderly neighbors.The 3-pound, 8-year-old dog is "the light of our life," said Kim Arizpe, Tinkerbell's owner. "I don't want anything for Christmas -- I just want my little dog home."Family members last saw Tinkerbell on Oct. 27 on Roxie Street in central Haltom City. Arizpe and her husband were away in Las Vegas celebrating their 25th anniversary, and Tinkerbell was with their relatives. She somehow slipped away.She wasn't wearing a collar, but she has had an ID microchip embedded in her skin.Arizpe and her family have checked animal shelters, placed ads on Craigslist and in the Star-Telegram, handed out fliers in English and Spanish, and even consulted a pet psychic.They're offering a $1,000 reward.During the search, Arizpe discovered that in Haltom City, it is illegal not to report a found dog or cat to city animal services.Josh Howard, the animal services supervisor, explained that anyone who finds a dog or a cat "at large" in the city limits is supposed to contact animal services within 48 hours.Failure to do so could result in civil or criminal action, according to the city animal ordinance.Violators would likely get a citation, which is similar to a traffic ticket, Howard said.Those tickets carry a fine of $187, according to Haltom City's fine schedule.Once an animal is reported, animal services tries to find the owner, Howard said.The embedded microchip helps.Tammy Hawley, operations director for the Humane Society of North Texas, said this type of ordinance is growing more common and should be encouraged. Pet owners have a better chance of finding their dogs or cats if they are taken to a shelter, animal services or a veterinarian's office.Fliers picturing Tinkerbell have been circulated in Haltom City, Watauga, North Richland Hills and Fort Worth. She is described as a fawn/gray Chihuahua with a black tip on her tail.The flier mentions a $500 reward. That has been raised to $1,000, Arizpe said.Howard said the flier is displayed on the Haltom City animal services bulletin board. As of Friday, no one had reported finding Tinkerbell.Arizpe's father, Don Sewell, said he feels guilty about Tinkerbell's disappearance. He said he wasn't a dog person, but Tinkerbell changed him.Now Sewell and his wife have two Chihuahuas of their own.Sewell said he is worried about Tinkerbell, who takes joint medication and is an indoor dog."She's always glad to see you," he said."She likes to sit in your lap. She needs to be home."Diane Smith, 817-390-7675Twitter: @dianeasmith1
Have you seen Tinkerbell?
The 3-pound, 8-year-old Chihuahua is fawn/gray with a black-tipped tail. Anyone with information about Tinkerbell is asked to call 817-296-4009. A reward is offered.