Chihuahuas are all over Hollywood these days. Paris Hilton famously owns one; Mickey Rourke mourns one; they’ve even got their own feature film. And, according to the Los Angeles?Times, that’s exactly the problem.
“All the shelters in California are seeing an upswing in Chihuahua impounds,” says Deb Campbell, a spokesperson for San Francisco’s animal control department. “It’s been a slow and steady climb.”
As the Chihuahua glut threatens to overrun California shelters, animal advocates point the finger at Hollywood for inspiring the trend. From 2001’s “Legally Blond” — where star Reese Witherspoon sports a pint-sized pup named Bruiser — to deceased burrito peddler Gidget (of “Yo quiero Taco Bell” fame), showbiz loves an underdog.
Owners, however, are still on the fence: As many as one-third of San Francisco’s shelter dogs are at least part Chihuahua, Campbell says. And if something doesn’t give, that number will soon rise to 50 percent, according to officials.
That’s because, despite their adorable appearance, Chihuahuas aren’t among the easiest breeds to manage. Chihuahuas are “small, fragile, door-dashers, nervous, not a good fit for families,” says Kim Durney of Grateful Dogs Rescue.