Small Pooch, Huge Impact: World's Tiniest Working Dog Soothes Souls

Lucy was destined for the shelter before finding her calling as a canine therapist.

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Small Pooch, Huge Impact: World's Tiniest Working Dog Soothes Souls
Lucy might be just 5 inches tall, but in hospitals and nursing homes, she's a force of nature. (Photo: Howie Williams/NBC Philadelphia)

Lucy is only three years old but she’s already made Guinness World Records. NBC Philadelphia reports that the New Jersey-based micro-Yorkshire Terrier, who works for a local branch of Leashes of Love, has just been named the smallest working dog in the world, snatching the title away from a six-pound search-and-rescue dog in Japan.

Two-and-half-pound Lucy is less than six inches high. Her owner, Sally Leone Montufar, says that people are drawn to the dog because of her diminutive size. "She stops traffic," says Montufar.

In her weekly rounds, the tiny terrier visits hospitals, nursing homes and rehab centers, and also works with at-risk youth and disabled children.

But only a year or two ago this international celebrity was just another unwanted dog en route to the local shelter. Montufar was working in a pet boutique when a woman came in with several stray dogs. Lucy peeked out of a pet carrier and Montufar fell in love.

After several trips to the vet, Lucy flourished. "She has a beautiful personality," Montufar enthuses. She hopes Lucy will remind people of the untapped potential in animals and inspire people to rescue homeless dogs.