SPCA Tampa Bay Alumni – Coco the Chihuahua


“Coco, you came into our lives during a time of uncertainty and the peak of the pandemic. We knew we needed an older dog in our home and I spent countless hours scouring different shelter websites until I came across your photo…”


Michelle Fones and Mitchell Rollo were in desperate search of a senior canine companion, that is, until they discovered this photo of Coco the Chihuahua on SPCA Tampa Bay’s Adopt a Dog page. It has now been a little over a year since Coco has joined the Fones Rollo family and we are excited to see how they are doing now! Check out these pup-dates from Coco’s mom, Michelle…


How has your life changed since adopting Coco?

“Our lives have changed drastically! Coco loves to play so we spend a lot of time playing with him and taking him to the dog park.”


What are your favorite things to do together?

“Depending on [Coco’s] mood, we like to cuddle on the couch or in bed ([he] sleeps in the bed with us), or play with his favorite toys.  Coco always lets us know which toy he would like to play with. He’s incredibly gentle with his stuffed animals and likes to carry them to us. He also plays with my shoes, but does not destroy them. We just find shoes in different places occasionally! We also enjoy the dog park and have some other dog friends who we see regularly.”


What are a few of Coco’s favorite things?

“Coco’s favorite thing is his favorite toy, Blue Man, a stuffed animal.  His other favorite things are stuffed koala, crinkly owl, and collecting empty water bottles and hoarding them under the bed.  He also loves to sleep under blankets.

Coco isn’t treat or food motivated, but will do anything for playtime or for his toys.  Everything is a toy for him, but he’s very gentle.  He sometimes will carry my shoes around- but never chews or tries to destroy them.  His favorite toys are koala, sloth, and Blue Man.  Blue Man goes everywhere that Coco goes.”


Do you have other pets? If so, how does Coco get along with them? What is their relationship like?

“We have a cat, Miso, who we just adopted a couple months ago.  Coco was curious about Miso at first and wanted to play, but has learned to respect her boundaries.   Coco was protective of Miso when we had to give her medicine.  He was also protective of our last cat, Molly, who passed away earlier this year.  Coco took care of Molly in her late age and was very lonely without her.”


What things are you looking forward to in your future with Coco?

“Mitchell and I are getting married later this year, and we are looking forward to many years with Coco when we eventually grow our family.”


Anything else that we should know about Coco and your family?

“Coco has been such a great addition to our home and to our lives.  Coco is my emotional support animal and helps me a lot with my anxiety and panic disorder. We love him! The moment [he] entered our home, [he] brought with [him] a bright light that never ceases to make us smile.”


Our shelter’s mission is to transform the lives of the animals and people in our community and we love to hear stories like Coco’s that truly bring our vision to life. Our biggest thanks to the Fones Rollo family for sharing their story with us and we wish them many more years full of wonderful memories with Coco.



The SPCA Tampa Bay Alumni series features the heartwarming life stories of our shelter animals and their families following their “happily-ever-afters”. If you or someone you know has adopted an animal from SPCA Tampa Bay and would like to share your story, contact our team today!  


About the Author: Camille Harkenrider, SPCA Tampa Bay’s Shelter Content Creator, works to bring the stories of our shelter to life with captivating messaging and images. She currently lives in the Tampa Bay area with her husband, four cats, two rabbits, and many fish.