Another dog found with her did not survive.
Following an essay contest, Kari Magedoff of Long Beach was chosen to adopt Nemo.
She gave the dog to her sister, a crime victim who lost a dog earlier this year.
"I can't explain the happiness I feel within my heart right now, and I'm going to love her to death and she's going to have nothing to worry about as long as she lives, ever," said Eilene Magedoff.
The Magedoff sisters say Nemo now has three other rescued Chihuahuas to play with.
A $2,000 reward is being offered for information leading to a suspect in this animal cruelty case.