Flying Chihuahuas, Meet the Flying Squirrels
The Richmond SPCA has a big collection of little dogs about ready for adoption.
It’s a story of celebrities and wannabes and the tiny little dogs that have become too popular.
Starr: We've been aware for a while that there has been a very significant problem in Southern California with an enormous glut of Chihuahuas in shelters.
Robin Starr, CEO of the Richmond SPCA.
Starr: The result of that fad of popularity is that in Southern California there has been dreadful overbreeding of Chihuahuas and the result is now that many of them are being relinquished at animal shelters, so many that they are having a very, very difficult time being able to place them all.
Last year, California shelters were featured on national television when they airlifted Chihuahuas to shelters in Colorado where people were ready to adopt them. But there are still a lot more dogs in California.
Starr: One of our staff members is originally from Pasadena, and she was out there not long ago visiting her family; she went by the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA to visit them and they told her what a problem they were having with having so many Chihuahuas relinquished at their shelter and asked if she thought that the Richmond SPCA could possibly help them out.
Some Chihuahuas were flown into Richmond International on Friday, more on Saturday and the rest arrived yesterday.
Starr: In all, we are expecting to receive about 24 Chihuahuas. And there are some Chihuahua mixes in there as well as pure-bred Chihuahuas. They arrived absolutely fine; every single one of them seems to be adjusting quite well.
Starr’s counterpart at the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA is Steve McNall. He said it's partnerships like this one that save the lives of animals and he looks forward to more coast-to-coast opportunities to provide a second chance for adoptable animals.
Starr: Pasadena Humane sent them to us in incredibly great shape. They had already been spayed or neutered, they've already received all their inoculations and they've already been micro-chipped. And they certainly all look very healthy. We need just to have our own veterinarian check them out individually after this long trip and make sure that they are in good health and, assuming that they continue to be in good health, we should be able to begin adopting them out probably next week.
Some historians trace this breed back to the Toltec civilization in Mexico.
Starr: We have a number of wonderful people who have put their name on a waiting list here for a small dog, so the first thing we're going to do is to call the people on that waiting list and give them the opportunity to adopt one of these dogs and then we will proceed to other folks who have let us know that they would like to have a Chihuahua or a similarly-sized small dog.
Chihuahuas, as a matter of fact, are the smallest breed of dog. They’re eight to ten inches or so high and they never weigh much more than six pounds.
John Ogle, WCVE News