Homeless Chihuahuas Emigrate to East Coast

Sunday, January 10, 2010
Chihuahua with friend

The great Chihuahua airlift has begun. Flooded with thousands of the tiny dogs, animal shelters in California have made arrangements to ship Chihuahuas to the East Coast, where there’s plenty of demand for and little supply of the animals.

Recently, 15 dogs flew aboard a special Virgin America flight from San Francisco to New York City to find new homes in Manhattan. Virgin America donated approximately $12,000 in travel costs and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals spent between $100 to $2,000 per dog for spaying and neutering, shots, food, housing, veterinary care and other costs.
In addition, a group of 25 Chihuahuas was relocated from the Los Angeles area to the Humane Society for Greater Nashua in New Hampshire, thanks to “Grey’s Anatomy” actress Katherine Heigl, Kinder4Rescue in Studio City, California, and American Airlines. Another 43 dogs also were sent to New Hampshire from LA as part of Project Flying Chihuahua.
Some California Chihuahuas have found new homes in nearby states, such as Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona.
During 2009, Los Angeles shelters took in 4,700 Chihuahuas, a thousand more than in 2008. Sixty percent of some Bay Area shelters have been comprised of the little dogs. Some blame the “Hollywood effect” for the surge in the Chihuahua population. In recent years the dog has appeared in movies, cartoons and fast-food commercials, and become a fashion accessory for celebrities like Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Hilary Duff and Mickey Rourke. But like all fads the Chihuahua one faded, and this one resulted in many owners of the animals giving up on them and taking them to local pounds.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Homeless in California, but Top Dogs in New York (by Manny Fernandez, New York Times)
S. Calif. Chihuahuas Airlifted to Northeast Owners (by mandalit Del Barco, NPR Morning Edition)
Facing Glut of Chihuahuas, California Shelters Fly Pets East (by Michael Farrell, Christian Science Monitor)
Chihuahuas Sent East to Ease Calif.'s Glut (by Sue Manning, Associated Press)


angela widdowfield 9 years ago
I would love to rescue a tan chihuahua with green eyes. As I have recently lost my best friend of 10 years.

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