Bay Area Overrun by Thousands of Chihuahuas

Victims of overbreeding, neglect
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2014 9:47 AM CDT
Bay Area Overrun by Thousands of Chihuahuas
Foxy, a Chihuahua puppy rescued from a trash can, in Grand Rapids, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Cory Morse)

California's Bay Area has a pint-sized problem roaming its streets: Thousands of stray Chihuahuas, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Hugely popular on the left coast, the dogs were overbred and now crowd animal shelters—making up half to three-quarters of dogs surrendered—and spill over onto the streets. "There's such an overabundance of these dogs, what do we do with them all? It's heartbreaking," says the head of a rescue group. Oakland has taken to flying hundreds of Chihuahuas each year to places like Idaho, Washington, and even Canada, where they're sought after. But life on the street is tough on the little guys, who face starvation, poisoning, and an average lifespan of just three to five years. "If they're trained and socialized, they can be great dogs," says the rescue chief. (More chihuahua stories.)

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