California is not just home to the film capital of the world – unfortunately, the Golden State is also where you’ll find one of the largest populations of homeless Chihuahuas.
This situation is partly to blame on the so-called “Paris Hilton Syndrome.” People get Chihuahuas merely as purse accessories and then abandon them.
As spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein told i Love Dogs back in December 2009, “Very often people think, ‘How cool. I can go to the store and get a pink shirt and the Chihuahua can get a pink shirt.’ And suddenly they realize that the dog also pees, poops and it’s expensive to go to the veterinarian. You may not be able to take the dog with you on vacation. The novelty of having an accessory becomes enlightened by the reality of having a pet, and the two don’t match.”
Among the other reasons for California’s “Chi” homeless population boom are pet parents’ failure to spay or neuter their dogs, and the high rate of home foreclosures – all too often, family dogs are given up to shelters or, worse, left behind in abandoned houses.
To help some of these little dogs find furever homes, spcaLA started the “Air Chihuahua” program, which has flown Chihuahuas and Chi mixes to locations outside of California, including Colorado, Texas, Florida and Alberta, Canada.
“We have so many Chihuahuas that they can be our guests for months before they are adopted,” Bernstein said in a press release. “By sending these small-breed dogs to an area of demand, like Edmonton, they are adopted quickly. Together, we are working to put disreputable breeders and puppy mills out of business by moving supply to demand.”
For its next flight on November 1, spcaLA is hoping to fly 40 Chihuahuas and mixes to the Seattle Humane Society, but needs donations. The cost per dog is $75, so spcaLA needs to raise $3,000 by next week.
To help send these cuties on their way so they can hopefully find furever homes by Thanksgiving, you can donate to Air Chihuahua via the spcaLA website.