Washingtonians have a thing about any sort of invasion by "Californiacators" - a rallying cry of Emmett Watson's Lesser Seattle brigades. But it turns out we are welcoming their dogs - the Chihuahuas of Los Angeles. They've overpopulated in LA, and some owners have become disenchanted with the little breed, turning them loose and flooding animal shelters. So they're being air-lifted around the U.S., including a Chihuahua contingent sent last week to the Seattle Humane Society.
The 42 dogs - mostly Chihuahuas with a few other small breeds mixed in - were transported via the Society for the Prevention of Cruetly to Animal's "Air Chihuahua" program, sponsored in part by The Jason Dubus Heigl Foundation, according to Seattle Humane Society spokesperson Amanda Walde. It's part of the Bellevue-based society's Life Saver Program to rescue and adopt pets at risk of being euthanized elsewhere because of a lack of space or resources to care for them.
Last year, the society teamed with 30 animal rescue organizations to transport 787 dogs who had run out of time at shelters in Washington state and 330 dogs from Los Angeles-area shelters.
The SPCA-LA says in a notice on its web site that Chihuahuas are the number one breed in Los Angeles - more than 60,000 are registered there - and their population keeps expanding.
Through Air Chihuahua, we match our abundant supply of these dogs with the great demand for them in other states, like Texas, Denver and Florida. Dogs that would have been our guests for months are instead adopted within a matter of hours. We work with other independent, credible animal welfare organizations, like the Seattle Humane Society, to find them permanent, loving homes.
Besides being overbred, the Chihuahua has also fallen out of fashion in LA, apparently. As Dennis Romero of our sister paper, LA Weekly, puts it in a story on Air Chihuahua:
?We're a sad bunch of self-centered, narcissistic, good-looking people, Los Angeles.
Stop checking yourself in the mirror for just a second to realize that when you start a trend involving living beings, they reproduce, and the world is stuck with them.
To style-conscious Los Angelenos, adds Romeo, the Chihuahua is, alas, "yesterday's pup."