She's being called 'ugly' and 'weird-looking' on social media.

But Beatrice, a homeless, blind albino Chihuahua in Winnipeg, is also sparking a conversation about special needs dogs as her photo goes viral. 

Tracy McWhirter of Earthdog Terrier Rescue said Beatrice is a bit of an internet sensation after a Facebook post about her has had more than 443,000 views with more than 200 comments.

But it concerns her that many of the comments are mean, like 'crazy Mexican rat,' or even vulgar. 

"There were some curse words added to the photo along with [comments about] some illegal drugs and we just saw that and we thought, 'Ok, this is kind of getting to the point where it's not even acceptable any more.'"

blind  Chihuahua

This photo of Beatrice, a blind Chihuahua, has gone viral on the internet, but many of the comments about her are nasty. Earthdog Terrier Rescue says though she's sparked a conversation about dogs with special needs. (Heather McRae)

She said some even take aim at the dog's intelligence.

"She's blind but she's still a very smart little girl," McWhirter said. "I guess we just were sort of offended that the people would automatically jump to that conclusion about her."

She said some commentators, though, defend Beatrice and take aim at the nasty comments themselves.

McWhirter said the dog comes from California, and was going to be put down in September. 

She said some criticize Earthdog Terrier Rescue for bringing homeless dogs into Canada, but actually she said, there is a shortage of small rescue dogs in Canada for people looking to adopt. 

But she said, Beatrice has been in foster care for for seven months now, and in spite of her recent celebrity, what may be holding people back from adopting her is that she's blind.

McWhirter said a lot of people are frightened off by that, but they shouldn't be, since dogs rely mainly on their sense of smell anyway. She said having to move the furniture might be the only change a new owner would have to make. 

McWhirter is hoping Beatrice finds her new home at a meet and greet Sunday at Global Pet Foods in St. Vital. 

Beatrice won't be the only special needs dog there. A dog that lost part of its tongue after it licked a cold pipe and got stuck, Paisley, will also be looking for a permanent home. 

The event takes place from noon to 3 p.m. at 1220 St. Mary's Rd., the new strip mall on the southwest corner of St. Mary's Road and Bishop Grandin Boulevard.