Friday, January 8, 2010

Flying Chihuahuas To Where The Odds Are Better

In an effort to ease the overcrowded population of Chihuahuas in California, Virgin America flew 15 Chihuahuas from San Francisco to New York this week.

West Coast shelters, inundated with Chihuahuas, have been searching for help from shelters on the East Coast, where Chihuahuas are few and far between, and there is a high demand for the pint sized pooches. Cooperation and teamwork between shelters to transport and relocate dogs is a common practice to facilitate more adoptions.

Influenced by red carpet Chihuahua toting celebrities, like Paris Hilton and Hillary Duff, and movies like Beverly Hills Chihuahua, irresponsible breeders and puppy mills realized they could profit off of this celebrity trend. The irresponsible breeding and media attention the little dogs received have contributed to the high volume of Chihuahuas in West Coast shelters, and the struggling economy has not helped, dog experts have noted. Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes have become the most common dog in California shelters, even outnumbering the Pit Bull.

With a veterinarian escort, the Chihuahuas were scheduled to arrive at JFK airport where they will be picked up by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which will work to find the dogs foster families and adoptive homes on the East Coast.

To garner more support, and raise awareness to the plight of homeless animals, Virgin America’s Facebook page documented the flight, complete with photos and videos posted mid-air!

It’s not just California shelters that are flooded with Chihuahuas. In Phoenix, Arizona the pocket pet trend has caught on and Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelters are packed to the gills with Chihuahuas. In December, the shelters were forced to have a $36 weekend Chihuahua special following a two month period where the shelters received 821 Chihuahuas, 230 more than the year before, according to the Associated Press.


  1. Terrible that some people are only in it for the money & don't care about anything except the money they can make. It seems like a hard thing to stop. The rescue where we got Chica in Issaquah WA has been taking in some Chi's from CA. That is where Chica is from. Thank you for sharing the info.
    Ernie, Sasha, & Chica

  2. I've been reading bbes tribe and thinking that she is an angel. I really appreciate you bringing more attention to this serious problem. It's almost unbelieveable!

  3. We are over run by Chihuahua's here in Arizona - and Pitbulls. It is sickening, really, when you think of how this kind of breeding destroys these breeds.