Charming Chis In Search of Good Owners
Want a good reason to consider adopting a rescued Chihuahua? An adult dog can be great in any of these cases:
You have a Chi and want to add another.
You lost a treasured senior and want another adult dog.
Your life is so busy you don't have the time and energy to spend raising a little one.
You like the idea of giving a great little dog a second chance at life.
Of course, no one really needs a reason to adopt. Adult Chis fit in any home and make fabulous pets.
Toy Breed Doesn't Mean “Toy”
People often think that the only reason a purebred dog would be given up to a shelter or abandoned along a country road is that there is something seriously wrong with the dog. This isn't true 99.9 percent of the time. Usually, the reason is that the dog is being a dog and exhibiting dog-like behaviors — which the owners weren't prepared to deal with.
For the Chihuahua, this is particularly true. Extensive media coverage of the breed in television commercials, print ads, movies, and as a pocket pet to the stars has fueled yet another renewed surge in interest in owning the smallest of the toy breeds. Unfortunately for Chis, puppy buyers often are not fully aware that while the Chihuahua may only weigh a few pounds, it has all the behaviors, drives, and needs of a dog. The Chihuahua is neither a stuffed animal nor a fashion accessory.
According to recent estimates, 50 percent or more of shelter dogs are purebred, with breeds differing depending upon the part of the country. Chihuahua populations vary throughout the United States, with the West Coast being a particular hotbed of rescue activity. In the Los Angeles area alone, rescues report hundreds of Chihuahuas needing homes each month.
Just as the trend years ago was for macho guys to seek out tough-looking dogs to establish their manhood, star-struck teens and celebrity wannabes are now seeking out Chihuahuas to carry as status symbols. As soon as these individuals discover that this Chihuahua needs to relieve itself regularly, is not content to sit in a Gucci purse all day (but would rather chase and dismember lizards), requires veterinary care (sometimes a lot of care), and may be either terrified of people (making it hard to show off to friends) or willing to snarl and bite any and all who come near (if not socialized well as a puppy), the Chihuahua is unceremoniously dumped at the nearest shelter.
Older Chihuahuas is perfect for owners who do not have the time to train a young pup, and they make wonderful companions.
Other Reasons for Abandoned Chis
Other reasons that purebred Chis wind up in need of rescue vary. Divorce, the arrival of a new baby, inability to pay for the dog's veterinary bills, a job relocation, a move to a property at which dogs are not allowed (sadly, often a retirement community or an assisted-living facility), and the death of the owner are some of the more commonly given reasons for surrendering a dog to a shelter or rescue. Some of the reasons are truly valid, making the surrender even more difficult for dog and owner.