Help spread the word - Animal shelters across California are bursting at the seams with Chihuahuas, Chihuahuas, and more Chihuahuas! In order to help connect these petite pooches with loving homes, a number of Bay Area animal shelters will be hosting low-cost "Chihuahua-palooza" adoption events this month. Here's more from Ken White, the President of the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA:
Animal shelters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area are all struggling with the same very big little problem: an alarming increase in homeless Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes. As the result, many of us have gotten together to present the first ever Bay Area-wide Chihuahua-palooza, an event aimed at addressing the Chihuahua population explosion which has led to the tiny breed being the most common at shelters.
Bay Area shelters are reporting that Chihuahuas and mixes account for anywhere from 20 to 50% of all incoming dogs. In early May, many are offering reduced adoption fees and reduced or free spay/neuter surgeries as part of the first annual Chihuahua-palooza.
As for the shelter where I hang my hat, "Pound for pound, the most love you'll ever get!" is the tagline for the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA's adoption promotion during the entire month of May when adoption fees will be based on the weight of Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes. Yes, an eight-pound dog can be adopted for just $8! Of course, potential adopters will first meet with a staff counselor to determine whether a good match exists.
In addition to offering special weight-based adoption fees the entire month of May, PHS/SPCA is setting aside two days in the shelter's spay/neuter clinic -- Wednesday, May 11 and Thursday, May 12 -- for free spay/neuter surgeries. San Mateo County residents with Chihuahuas or Chihuahua mixes can get them fixed for free. For an appointment, call (650) 340-7025. Appointments are limited and will be granted on a first-come, first served basis.
We're also inviting the general public to observe a special training class for a group of the shelter's Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes awaiting adoption. The class, which focuses on providing mental stimulation and fun for dogs by working on scent-based games and tricks, is Tuesday, May 10, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in the shelter's Auditorium. No appointment necessary.
PHS/SPCA currently has 34 Chihuahuas or Chihuahua mixes available for adoption. The breed now accounts for approximately 21% of all our incoming dogs. They are surrendered to shelters for different reasons -- like any breed -- but one common reason includes "does not play well with or tolerate children in the family."
Shelters throughout the Bay Area believe several factors have contributed to the Chihuahua increase besides the fact that they don't match expectations for families with young children. Hollywood can be partially to blame, given the Taco Bell commercials, Chihuahua Disney movies and number of starlets who parade the little pups in purses as fashion accessories. And, despite their little outer package, these small dogs can have big personalities. Apparently, the challenge is too great for many owners.
The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA is open for adoptions from 11AM to 7PM on weekdays and 11AM to 6PM on weekends. Potential adopters are asked to arrive at least an hour before closing to complete an adoption. Many of the shelter's available dogs can also be viewed online at www.PHS-SPCA.org. The regular adoption fee is $120 ($70 for dogs age 7+ and $135 for puppies under 6 months).
Here's a list of additional Bay Area animal shelters that are offering discounted Chihuahua adoptions and small dog spaying/neutering services this May:
Hayward Animal Control
The East Bay SPCA
Humane Society Silicon Valley
P.S. The fetching chap shown above is Angus, a 3-4 year old Chihuahua mix who is described as "a charming little snuggle bug with an excellent disposition." Angus has deformed feet and some arthritis, so he will need a special family. Click here for more details about Angus!