12/19/2014 08:56 EST | Updated 02/18/2015 05:59 EST

Chihuahua gets wheelchair, swimming lessons in Kamloops

A family in Kamloops is fostering and rehabilitating a group of elderly Chihuahua's rescued from shelters in California.

"We all think that they look like a group of ewoks, these little guys," Krista Tranah told Daybreak Kamloops' Shelley Joyce.

The Tranah's travelled to Sacramento to pick up the dogs. The family volunteers with the Pommy Country Rescue, based in Barriere.

"In California, which is where more small dogs get surrendered, small dogs, especially Chihuahuas have 0.01 per cent chance of getting re-homed because everyone in California has a chihuahua or a small dog already," said 10-year old Olivia Tranah, who is taking her role as a foster parent seriously.

Because the dogs are older, they have their share of health problems.

One of the dogs, Bandit, is 14 years old.

He's a bit overweight, because he has luxating patellas, a condition where his kneecaps give out when he walks.

The surgery to fix his legs costs thousands of dollars, so the Tranahs have plans to get him a wheelchair, to improve his mobility.

For now, he goes swimming at a special pool, under the supervision of canine hydrotherapist Chris McKay.

"He can only swim for so long because his legs get really sore," said McKay.

Olivia Tranah and her sister Emma have taken all the dogs to the pool, and McKay said once the dogs felt  confident in the water, they started swimming to the girls.

The Tranah's are fostering the dogs until they get adopted into permanent homes.

Mother Krista Tranah admits it will be difficult to part with the Chihuahuas.

"These girls, in their own minds, in their own hearts these dogs belong to them already," she said.

To hear more about the Chihuahuas the Tranahs are fostering, click the audio labelled: Kamloops family adopts Chihuahuas from California.