Chihuahuas are the most relinquished breed in the U.S. today. They are also one of the most misunderstood. Too often they are bought as ‘purse puppies’ and abandoned as soon as they don’t behave or look as expected. Our aim is to reeducate the public on the nature and needs of the breed and to stop them being viewed as dispensable fashion items.
Due to the mass popularity of the breed, they have lost their identity as living animals. They've become nothing more than toys or accessories to be traded in when they are no longer “in style” or have lost their “puppy” appearance. When an animal, especially one as small and fragile as the Chihuahua, becomes an “object”, they often find themselves in situations of extreme cruelty.
The examples are too many and too horrific. Charlie from North Carolina was strangled by a woman's bored boyfriend; a good Samaritan in Salt Lake City pulled Hope from an active fire pit only to have the dog die soon after the attempted rescue; Lily - who was killed after wandering out of her owner's yard - by a man who struck her with his golf club, as if he was hitting a golf ball on a tee. A simple Google search highlights thousands of incidents throughout the country.
Chihuahuas are loving, loyal and protective dogs. Yet many of those who take in the breed, even those with the best intention, lack the proper training and education to properly care for for them. The end result is often a shelter or their abandonment on the street.
Their reputation as “nippers” and “barkers” - the result of improper training, not a breed characteristic - leads to unwillingness for some to consider taking in a Chihuahua rescue after they are no longer a puppy, leaving a vast sea of older Chihuahua languishing in shelters. In the United States shelter system, the Chihuahua has grown in popularity to the point of one of the top three most common dogs abandoned in 34 out of 50 states.
Often referred to as the Chihuahua paradox, this over-saturation of Chihuahuas in shelters is the result of the breed’s sudden celebrity with breeders whether professional, casual or “backyard”, as well as puppy-mills that are breeding these dogs in record numbers. The result is an overpopulation of Chihuahua, many with congenital defects, that only increases their chances of entering into the shelter system.
The shelter system is almost always a death sentence for a Chihuahua. With their small stature and sensitive immune systems, they are more likely to become terminally ill. Factor in the psychological and emotional effects of being abandoned and what chance does this tiny dog have at finding a good home? If they don't get rescued, they will surely die if not from illness, the euthanasia.
There is hope. Animal rescues across the country are finally taking notice and working to help end this breed's suffering. In Chicago, Famous Fido Rescue is leading the pack with a new campaign, called CHI - CHIHUAHUA HUMANE INSIGHT. Their mission - to rescue Chihuahua and educate the public about these wonderful companion animals.
With your help, we can stop Chihuahuas from being-viewed as toys, fashion accessories or objects to be abused. To learn more on how you can help, please stop by Famous Fido Rescue or call 773-907-0305, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are currently searching for a motivated individual to lead this program.