Calif. Shelters See Surge in Chihuahuas

Fashion dogs on track to eclipse pit bulls as most abandoned
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2009 1:24 PM CST
Calif. Shelters See Surge in Chihuahuas
Dog owners and animal control workers show off Chihuahuas that have deluged the Bay Area's animal shelters.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – A Hollywood-fueled demand for Chihuahuas in California has morphed into shelter populations that make up 50% of the dogs in some places. “It's been a slow and steady climb,” a San Francisco animal control spokeswoman tells the Los Angeles Times. “We call it the Paris Hilton syndrome.”

To stem the tide, which has made Chihuahuas more common than pit bulls at some shelters, cities are getting creative. San Francisco held “Chihuahuapalooza” to encourage adoption. LA took a more drastic step: “Flying Chihuahuas,” an airlift of 25 dogs to Nashua, NH, where they were snapped up immediately. While the situation is “alarming,” an official says, it’s not shocking. The reality of the dogs is that they’re “small, fragile, door-dashers, nervous, not a good fit for families." Uhh, and please adopt one. (Read more chihuahua stories.)

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