Did Paris Hilton Cause a Chihuahua Crisis?
California shelters are brimming with Chihuahuas, and celebs may be to blame.
-Kathryn H. Cusimano
California animal shelters are seeing more Chihuahuas than ever, so many that they’ve started sending the dogs to shelters in other states. Some experts think celebs like Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus, who carry the small dogs like accessories, are to blame.
Madeline Bernstein, president of the SPCA in Los Angeles, told ABC News that Chihuahuas are the most popular dog breed in the city, and as a result, are the ones most often abandoned. But shelters outside California can’t keep up with the demand for the dogs.
“We never have enough supply for the huge consumer demand for small dogs,” Gail Buchwald, the senior vice president of the ASPCA adoption center in New York City told ABC News.
Dave Frangipane, senior coordinator for Chihuahua Rescue of Beverly Hills, blames the dogs’ presence in popular culture, citing films like Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Recently, the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, an animal rescue charity founded by Katharine Heigl in honor of her late brother, paid to have 25 Chihuahuas flown from Los Angeles to a shelter in New Hampshire. (ABC News, PeoplePets)