Richmond shelter eases California Chihuahua crisis

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – They're small, adorable and were a trend in California- but now there are just too many Chihuahua's on the West Coast. So today nine of them flew here to Richmond hoping for a better life.

They're shelter dogs desperate for a forever family. Friday afternoon nine Chihuahua's reached their destination after flying 2,600 miles from Pasadena.

One after another, after another, the canines were transported from the airport to a van. A short drive later, they were unloaded by a sea of eager volunteers.

"We have gotten to know the folks at Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA," said Robin Starr. "They asked us if we could help them because they have just been overwhelmed with the number of Chihuahuas."

Celebrities are credited for the Chihuahua craze which later fizzled out. Right now they make up nearly a third of the shelter population in California. Right now, shelters there are having trouble locating homes, so they're shipping the dogs out-of-state.

"They are darling little dogs and it will be fun to make them comfortable," said Starr.

Each of the nine comes with their own personality. Some are quiet, some are not, and some can't kick their west coast fashion habits.

"These dogs came to us healthy, spayed and neutered, with all their shots and already micro-chipped," Starr said.

Robin Starr with the SPCA says there should be no trouble finding them homes.

"There are a lot of people who have told us they would like to have small dogs. So we will go to that wish-list first of course," she said.

And while the new tenants with reserved digs won't impact shelter space, Robin hopes their story impacts animal lovers.

"And it is an important lesson of how essential it is to spay and neuter our animals so that they are not over-bred into the kind of problem that they now are experiencing," said Starr.

Two more groups of Chihuahua's will fly-in over the weekend, and each will be examined by a vet to make sure that they are healthy and have no behavioral issues. If you'd like to put your name on a list to adopt one, contact the Richmond SPCA.

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