The state of California has more Chihuahuas then it knows what to do with and workers at shelters are blaming Hollywood. There are so many Chihuahuas at the shelters in Oakland that the shelters are being forced to send the dogs to shelters in neighboring states. The tiny breed makes up at least thirty percent of the total dog population at shelters across the state. Experts say we can blame the likes of Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus as well as other celebrities for the problem as people have rushed to buy Chihuahuas to tote around and to use as a status symbol of sorts.
Thankfully, at least for now, the problem seems to be specific to the state of California as Chihuahuas are the most popular breed in Los Angeles and thus has become the breed that is abandoned the most. Some shelters report receiving an average of ten Chihuahuas every single day. The reason given by the owners who bring the tiny dogs to the shelters range from statements saying that the dog has become “too old”, or that the dog is “too yappy”. Many of the owners also state that their dog has nipped or bitten someone in the household.
California has also seen a rise in the number of backyard breeders who are trying to cash in on the popularity of the Chihuahua. Unfortunately, many people have no problem in kicking a Chihuahua, and due to the small size of the dog, many Chihuahuas are mishandled by children and adults alike.
Now, back to Paris Hilton. In September of this year a news story came across the wires saying that two of Hilton's Chihuahuas were killed by coyotes. Neighbors as well as paparazzi had reported that they have often found some of her dogs roaming the streets after they had gotten out of her compound--due to not being watched. It was reported that Hilton did not even find the bodies of her two dogs until the day after she discovered them missing. We can only hope that she does not buy more dogs to replace those two. The Hollywood heiress was the first person to use her Chihuahua Tinkerbell as a fashion accessory, toting the poor thing around with her from nightclub to nightclub in a handbag.
Thankfully, most of the shelters who are getting the overflow of Chihuahuas from California report that they are having success placing then often abused and neglected dogs into new and loving homes. In my opinion, it's time for people in California to wake up and quit looking at Chihuahuas as 'fashion accessories'!!!