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Homeless California Chihuahuas Being Flown Out of State

LOS ANGELES — Chihuahuas have been flying out of California since other states learned about the glut of little dogs in the Golden State.

A group of 25 dogs has already arrived at the Humane Society for Greater Nashua in New Hampshire, thanks to “Grey’s Anatomy” actress Katherine Heigl, Kinder4Rescue in Studio City and American Airlines.

A group of 43 will leave for New Hampshire on Monday or Tuesday, said Kathy Davis, interim general manager of Los Angeles Animal Services, who took part in a news conference Friday to announce Project Flying Chihuahua.

Heigl’s foundation has paid the discounted airfare for all 68 dogs so far, she added.

The Chihuahua crisis in California developed as the dogs were featured in movies such as “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and “Legally Blonde.” Backyard breeders sprung up, but the recession has forced some dog owners to abandon pets.

California shelters soon found that 30 percent or more of their dogs were Chihuahuas. But the eastern U.S. had a shortage of small dogs.

Pack of homeless Chihuahuas flying to Colorado

Nearly three dozen Chihuahuas are being airlifted today from California to Broomfield in hopes of finding homes before the new year through the Dumb Friends League.

Chihuahuas have been flying out of California since other states learned about the glut of little dogs in the Golden State.

The Chihuahua crisis in California developed as the dogs were featured in movies such as “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and “Legally Blonde.” Backyard breeders sprung up, but the recession has forced some dog owners to abandon pets.

California shelters soon found that 30 percent or more of their dogs were Chihuahuas. But the eastern U.S. had a shortage of small dogs.

A long-haired Chihuahua named Dr. Papidies was the inspiration for the Denver rescue effort. Dr. Leslie Capin, who entered her dog into a national “cutest dog” competition, donated half of the winnings to the Dumb Friends League. Then, after learning about the Chihuahua situation in California, Capin offered to cover the cost of transportation for some of them to Denver.

“Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Capin and Pet Airways, we are able to fly in 30 to 35 Chihuahuas and give them a second chance at happiness,” said Robert Rohde, President and CEO of the Dumb Friends League. “We will work with other animal shelters in California and coordinate additional flights to help more Chihuahuas that are in need of homes.”

Interested adopters and donors are encouraged to visit the Dumb Friends League Web site at ddfl.org, or call (303) 751-5772 for more information.

Leslie Capin of CARA Mia Medical day spa entered her chihuahua named Dr. Papidies into “cute dog contest” in Sept. and on Thanksgiving found out he had beaten out 50,000 pooches from across the U.S. after people voted online. She ended up winning a $ 1 million, but instead of keeping the cash Capin is donating half of it to the Max Fund, a non kill animal shelter and the other half to the Denver Dumb Friends League, a pet adoption agency. (Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)

If you have room in your heart and in your home for just one more pet, consider adopting a Chihuahua or Chihuahua mix from a local shelter, especially if you live in California or the Phoenix area.  And if Chihuahua’s are not your cup of tea, there are many other dogs and pets in general looking for good homes and loving parents.

Angelina Easter Pup - 2009

Photos By:  Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug

Angelina above is a Chiweenie – a Chihuahua-Dachshund Mix

December 28, 2009 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Euthenization | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

California Shelters Overflowing with Chihuahuas

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Reuters/Landov

The young woman was very specific: She wanted a Chihuahua, “just like Tinkerbell,” the petite pet of Paris Hilton. She waited weeks, coming back often to look at the dogs in this Southern California animal shelter. So, when “Teensy” a 1-year-old Chihuahua was recently surrendered by her owners, she signed the adoption papers and popped the pooch straight into her purse.

Unfortunately, she was back three weeks later. The dog had pooped in her bag, run into traffic and barked a lot. “Like so many people who got these little dogs because celebrities have them, she wasn’t prepared for the reality of taking care of her,” the shelter’s director tells PEOPLEPets.com.

California is in the midst of a Chihuahua explosion with animal shelters and rescue operations jammed with tiny little dogs like Teensy. In L.A. the situation was so dire, that Katherine Heigl helped get 25 of the pocket-sized pups airlifted to New Hampshire, where they were adopted immediately. A third of the canines in the San Francisco city shelters are Chihuahuas and in Oakland the population has reached a whopping 50 percent. Experts say those numbers are unprecedented.

The Chihuahua glut started about three years ago, according to Nancy Goodwin, director of the City of Laguna Beach Animal Shelter. “Breeds get popular and then when times get tough, we’ll see an influx of them given up. Years ago it was German shepherds,” she says. “Now it’s the little dogs.”

In the last few years a lot of younger people are coming into the shelters looking for the tiny pups. “They tell us they want to carry the dogs in their purses just like the celebrities,” says Goodwin. “And sometimes that’s not as much fun as it looks. They are a responsibility.”

Blame it on Paris. Blame it on Taco Bell. But the combination of movies (2001′s Legally Blonde, 2008’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua) and tabloid photos of celebrities toting their pint-size pets in huge purses has resulted in overpopulation, according to Steve Kragenbrink, of the Woods Humane Society in San Luis Obispo.

“Some of this is accidental breeding,” says Kragenbrink. “Some of it is people trying to make money by breeding, which makes for too many of one kind of animal.” The solution is to spay and neuter pets. “There’s no reason for a dog not to be fixed,” says Kragenbrink, who’s taken Chihuahuas from L.A. shelters to his location for adoption. “The alternative to spaying and neutering is euthanasia. That’s a cruel and unnecessary solution to overpopulation.”

If you’re interested in adding a pet to your family, consider adopting or fostering a Chihuahua. For more information click here.

Related:  Shelters Full of Chihuahuas

Posted:  Just One More Pet

December 28, 2009 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal Rescues, Change Number of Pet Restrictive Laws. Ordinances and Rules, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pets, Political Change, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Merry Christmas From Just One More Pet

Okay Where's the Party- sm

December 27, 2009 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, Just One More Pet, pet fun, Pets | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

100 Dogs Rescued in Arkansas

Over 100 dogs and other animals have been rescued from an alleged puppy mill in Johnson County, Arkansas.

Over 100 Dogs Rescued From Arkansas Puppy Mill

Over the last few months the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department has been receiving complaints from concerned citizens who had bought puppies from a facility in Lamar, Johnson County. Complaints were lodged regarding sick puppies and seemingly inhumane conditions at the property. The Sheriff’s Department asked for help from the Needy Paws Animal Shelter to obtain evidence necessary to build the case, and once it was apparent the charges could be brought, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was called on to assist in the seizure of animals from the property.

When the HSUS arrived on scene on Tuesday, over 100 dogs, 5 cats and 2 guinea-pigs were rescued from “horrific conditions”. The dogs, mostly Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas, were being housed in filthy cages in trailers across the property. Some larger dogs were simply chained with no protection from the weather. Many of the dogs were so thin they were described as “emaciated”, and many of them were suffering from skin and eye infections.

“These dogs were being kept not as beloved pets, but as cash crops – churning out litter after litter of puppies for the profit of the property owner,” said Scotlund Haisley, senior director of Emergency Services for The HSUS. “The animals on this property were in dire need of help – one dog was so matted that we had to cut him out of his cage.”

After arrival at a nearby emergency shelter, the animals were checked by a team of veterinarians and will now be cared for by the HSUS and the United Animal Nations (UAN). Fourteen volunteers with UAN’s Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) have traveled from Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and other parts of Arkansas to care for the rescued animals. PetSmart Charities also dispatched its Emergency Relief Waggin’® vehicle to the scene in advance of the raid. The vehicle is stocked with $60,000 worth of crucial supplies, including dog food, wire crates, plastic carriers, bowls and leashes.

“The UAN volunteers have been working non-stop to help the dogs acclimate to their new surroundings and give them clean kennels, food, water and attention like they never experienced before,” said UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies. “They are quickly improving with the extraordinary care they are receiving.”

by Daphne Reid – PetPeople.com

Posted:  Just One More Pet

October 12, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rescues, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Elderly Chihuahua rescued from trash

LIVINGSTON — Animal control officer Kristin Lucas is used to finding animals in dire straits.

But on Wednesday, she saw something she had never seen before.

Someone had put an elderly Chihuahua in a garbage bag, tied the bag shut and thrown it into the Dumpster behind Sam’s Food City in Livingston.

chihuahua

(Merced Sun-Star) – This older male Chihuahua dog was put into a garbage bag that was tied shut and then thrown into a dumpster in Livingston. The dog was able to get his head out to breathe, and was rescued by Kristin Lucas, the animal control officer for the Livingston Police Department. He is currently recovering from his ordeal at a local veterinarian’s office.

An employee of the grocery store saw the dog. Thinking it was either dead or injured, the employee called Lucas.

“I looked in the Dumpster, and all I saw was a head sticking out of a tiny hole,” Lucas said. “The hole was just big enough for his head. He had obviously worked to get his head out so he could breathe.”

The dog was covered in urine and had suffered puncture wounds on his body, Lucas said. But other than that, and the fact that he was an older dog, there wasn’t much wrong with him.

Lucas took the dog to Valley Animal Hospital in Merced, where Christine McFadden is taking care of him.

“He’s an older dog, has some teeth issues, but not too bad,” McFadden said. “He also has some puncture wounds where it looks like an animal attacked him.”

Despite his wounds, McFadden said the dog won’t need surgery and is doing well.

Lucas said that throwing an unwanted pet into a Dumpster isn’t the way to deal with pets.

“If someone doesn’t want their dog, that’s what the shelter is there for,” Lucas said. “Most people don’t make a snap decision to get rid of their dog, they think about it for a while.”

She said if a dog is old or sick, having it put to sleep at a veterinarian’s office or at the animal shelter is the kindest way to deal with the pet.

The little male dog is neutered, according to McFadden, and should make someone who likes older dogs a good pet.

“This dog could have suffered a horrible, horrible death,” Lucas said. “Thank goodness someone found him before that happened.”

Anyone interested in the Chihuahua mix dog can call Lucas at the Livingston Police Department, 394-5585.

Just Another Example That We Need to Make Examples of Everyone that Does Something Like This to Animals!!!  The Laws against animal cruelty must be stiffened and every instance must be prosecuted to fullest extent of all laws and infractions that can be applied to the crime(s).  Ask Marion/JOMP

Source:  Annette Gongora’s facebook post

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ASPCA Rescue Tails: Kitten Survives Six Days in Duffel Bag

kittenIf one cat’s will to live could outmatch the strength of a heavy canvas bag, then surely one little kitten in Spokane County, WA, has the courage of a lion. Last week, two maintenance workers were testing garage doors at an apartment complex when they heard the muffled sounds of a distressed kitten coming from a large, heavy canvas duffel bag. The workers unzipped the bag only to find a second zipped duffel bag inside. When they opened the second bag, they discovered a frightened orange kitten, whom they promptly named Duff.

After giving him a much-needed bath, the rescuers called the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS)—an ASPCA Mission: Orange partner agency—to pick up and care for the tiny, suffering kitten.

“Duff was very lucky to be found,” says Animal Protection Officer Nicole Montano. “He probably would have died that day.”

Spokane Valley resident Donivan Crews later confessed to SCRAPS that he placed the kitten in the duffel bags six days prior to discovery. Crews was charged with confinement in an unsafe manner.

But this story of cruel abandonment has a very happy ending. One of Duff’s knights in shining armor adopted the lucky feline, who’s now recovering in a truly loving home.

“We are so grateful for the heroes who not only rescued this kitten but also took him into their hearts and home,” says Jackie E. Bell, SCRAPS Development Coordinator. “Duff will always have his name as a reminder of how he overcame such a tough start in life.”

Source:  ASPCA

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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    August 30, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

    Poop Eater – Do You Have This Problem?

    (Discussion taken from my AARP Blog Pet Group)

    Can anyone help? My adorable 2 year old, 11 lb Havamalt has a bad habit. She is pee-pee pad trained and if I am not around to pickup when she poops, she cleans up herself! I have tried everything from changing her food to using the special powder in her food, the pills sold for this problem and nothing works. I would appreciate any suggestions.

    ———–

    Responses Back:

    1.  Hi – I have a 14+ year old border terrier, Maggie, who I adopted when she was 12.  One of her bad habits was eating her poop. I learned to clean up after her like a shot – and eventually good nutrition virtually solved the problem, together with cleaning up after her.

    Like some of you said, I loved her anyway.  One solution I have read about is that pineapple makes the feces taste bad to a dog (fed to the dog).  Anyone have experience with this or the pills available for this problem?  The individual writing in has a particular problem since defecation is allowed inside the house (not something I have ever done).

    2.    Yes, a frustrating habit and you have the best advice from other posters.  One thing that I heard on television with Victoria Stillwell.  Feed pineapple with the dogs food. Then of course pick up ASAP.  Her claim was the dogs hate the smell in the stool and will not eat it.  Good luck, Judith and Maddie. 

    3.  I appreciate your response. Since my dog is pee pee pad trained I cannot let her sleep at night anywhere but her crate because of this habit. I also pick-up immediately when she goes outside but sometimes I think she deliberately does not go so she can practice her bad habit in the house when I am not looking. She is fast and good at it. I love her anyway!!!

    4.  My 4-year-old Lab does the same thing, and I have tried the powder and everything else… The fact is this… Dogs can smell every ingredient in anything…. that is if you have a pot of soup on the stove they can distinguish each ingredient in the soup by smell….sometimes  all of their food does not digest, and  they smell it in their feces, and yes will eat it if .. my vet told me this, and some eat it out of boredom.. and it is a very bad habit.. it is up to you to pick it up ASAP to keep him from eating it… It does not harm the Dog , its just disgusting more than anything… as soon as my Dog is done going, I am out there with a shovel…not a good place to be in the winter time

    5.  Although none of our 4 dogs (Chihuahuas and Chiweenies) do it now, I was amazed when our Chihuahua had puppies at the efficiency and thoroughness with which she cleaned up after her birth mess, the puppies themselves and then after the puppies eliminations.  It is obviously a natural instinct.

    Even though we live in the city, we live in an area backed up to a large open wilderness area where there are lots of wild animals: bunnies, squirrels, raccoons, possums, birds of all types, an occasional snake, lizards and coyotes.  I understand that before we lived here there was even a wolf citing.  And if we are not diligent all four of our pups will try and to eat the bunny droppings; obviously an attraction there…

     

    Stool Eating (Coprophagy)

    Q.
    What are the causes and cures of stool eating?

    A.
    Coprophagy (pronounced kä – präf’ – je) comes from the Greek copro which means feces and phagy which means eat. And that is what it is – eating feces. A habit of dogs we all find disgusting, but as we say, dogs will be dogs. Some dogs especially like feces fromherbivores like rabbits, deer, and horses. Others love to raid the cat’s litter box. Still others only eat dog feces if it is frozen.

    Why do dogs eat feces?

    A lot of theories have been suggested as to why dogs eat feces. Are they missing something in their diet? Generally not.

    Dogs who eat their feces usually do not have a dietary deficiency. Some medical problems, however, can contribute to coprophagy including severe disorders of the pancreas (pancreatic insufficiency) or intestine, severe malnutrition from massive parasiticinfestations, or starvation. These cases are rare.

    Some dogs, especially those in kennel situations, may eat feces because they are anxious or stressed. One researcher suggests that dogs who have been punished by their owners for defecating inappropriately start to think any defecation is wrong, so they try to eliminate the evidence.

    Another theory is that coprophagy is a trait passed down through the ages. Dogs’ cousins, the wolves and coyotes, may often eat feces if food is in short supply. Feces from herbivores (animals that eat plants for food) contain many of the B vitamins. Some researchers suggest that wolves (and some dogs) may eat feces to replenish their vitamin supply.

    In some instances, coprophagy may be a behavior learned from watching other animals. It may also become a habit in the course of play and puppies having to try out the taste of everything.

    There is a stage of life in which coprophagy is common and expected. Can you think of what it is? Bitches and queens normally eat the feces of their offspring. This is presumed to occur in an attempt to hide the presence of the litter from predators.

    Finally, some dogs may eat feces just because it tastes good (to them).

    How do we prevent coprophagia from occurring?

    The best way to prevent the problem is to keep yards and kennels free of feces.

    Some owners find it successful to use something to make the feces taste horrible. Products such as For-bid (for cats or dogs) and Drs. Foster and Smith Dis-Taste (for dogs) are added to the food of the animal whose feces are being eaten (it could be the food of the dog with coprophagy if he eats his own stool; or the food of the cat, if the dog with coprophagy eats the cat’s feces). The product is digested by the animal, and results in giving the feces a very bad taste. Some people try putting Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper (chili powder) on the feces (not the food!). Unfortunately, some dogs have acquired quite a taste for Tabasco. These methods work best if the behavior has just started. Once coprophagy has become a habit, it is very difficult to break.

    Dogs should be on a leash when walking, so you have control over the dog in case a luscious pile of feces is found along the way. Sometimes, the only way to prevent coprophagy is to fit the dog with a wire muzzle. The dog will be able to sniff, pant, and do most things dogs do, but the dog will not be able to eat with the muzzle on. DO NOT LEAVE A MUZZLED DOG UNATTENDED.

    Adding toys and other diversions to the environment may be helpful. We need to find something that is more fun for the dog than eating feces. A dog may find a Kong toy laced with peanut butter a better alternative. Also give the dog lots of exercise to help it ultimately relax.

    In situations in which the behavior may be linked to stress, the cause of stress should be eliminated or at least reduced. In some instances of extreme anxiety, or if the behavior becomes obsessive-compulsive, medication may be necessary to try to break the cycle.

    One researcher recommends checking the dog’s diet to make sure he is getting enough B vitamins and is not getting an excess of carbohydrates.

    Some dogs will improve if they are fed more often, so you may want to increase the number of meals (but keep the total daily intake about the same).

    There have been anecdotal reports that adding Prozyme to the diet may aid in eliminating this problem.

    For dogs attracted to litter boxes, you may need to be quite creative. Using covered litter boxes and placing the opening towards a wall may help. Some people put the litter box up high. Others put the litter box in a closet and secure the closet door so that the opening is big enough for the cat but will not allow the dog to enter. Keep in mind that if we make the litter box too difficult to reach, the cat may not go to it either.

    Above all, do not punish the dog for eating feces. This may reinforce the behavior. General work on obedience is sometimes helpful. If the dog knows what is expected of him and looks to you for cues, he may be less anxious and less likely to start or continue the behavior.

    What are the health risks of coprophagy?

    Many parasites can be transmitted through eating stool. Generally, herbivores have parasites specific to them; these parasites will not cause disease in carnivores. But dogs eating the feces of other dogs or cats can infect themselves repeatedly with parasites such as giardia, coccidia, and if the feces are around for 2-3 weeks or more, roundworms and whipworms. Such dogs should have regular fecal examinations and dewormings with the appropriate medications depending on the parasites found.

    Summary

    We are not sure why dogs eat their own feces or the feces of other animals. We do know that if a dog starts this behavior, the sooner we implement prevention measures, the better the chance of success.

    Source:  Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc, Veterinary Services Department

    Posted:  Just One More Pet

    August 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    13-Pound Pooch Takes Hero Pet of the Year

    Chi ChiMeet Chi Chi, this little Chihuahua mix is 13-pounds of attitude and now the Reader’s Digest Hero Pet of the Year!  Seems this little guy was out basking on Indian Beach on North Carolina’s Outer Banks with his owners, Rick and Mary Lane, when he became an unlikely hero and savior.

    Hanging out in his own little beach chair, restrained because it seems he has a habit of chasing people, I did mention he has an attitude, right? Well, the little noticed something amiss and took off… still attached to his chair, dragging it down the beach behind him and making a yapping sound his owners had never heard before.

    It didn’t take long for Chi Chi’s “mom” to spot the problem.

    “There was a storm surge, and there were two elderly ladies — one had fallen on her back headfirst into the surf,” she said. “The other lady — a little bitty lady about 90 pounds — was trying to hold her head up, and she was in danger of being washed out.”

    And no, the little pooch didn’t dive into the water and valiantly pull the struggling ladies out but he did set off the alarm that sent the Lanes into the water as rescue proxies for Chi Chi. After making sure the ladies were fine, a little shaken but otherwise okay, they headed back only to find the little yapping hero sound asleep in his chair, his job done.

    Now Chi Chi has become the little celebrity in his home town and also captured enough hearts with his story to take be crowned Hero Pet of the year! But be wary if you meet this little guy on the street, he’s not into the petting thing, you’ll see on the video! LOL

    Way to go Chi Chi!!

    Chi Chi Received the Hero of the Year Award for his rescue work

    Source:  For the Love of the Dog Blog

    Posted:  Just One More Pet

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    August 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Be Kind To Animals (And Report People Who Aren’t!!)

    Ya know…There is a lot of animal abuse going on these days. And it just makes me sick, every time I hear  about those poor, defenseless animals, being abused.

    What makes people do things like that? They must be out of their minds, to hurt all these furry little creatures, that are so sweet & loveable. What did these animals ever do, to deserve such treatment?  Let’s put a stop to this, now!! ! If you see or hear, of any abuse on these animals, please notify the authorities, immediately.

    I have 5 dogs & 3 Cats, and some baby kittens. My dogs are…3 Chihuahua’s & 2 Beagles. My one Chihuahua, Molly, I rescued from an animal abuser, back in 2001.

    She wouldn’t come near anyone for at least 2 month’s, she was that scared. After 2 month’s, she started coming to me, only. It took her, a whole year & a half, before she would go to anyone else, besides me. She was so scrawny looking, when I first got her, in 2001. She was a year old then. And now she’s so beautiful and loveable. There are still times, when she won’t go near someone, but she’ll always be that way, because animal’s are a lot like children. And, they all, never forget, how they’ve been treated. But, animal’s can sense, when not to go to someone, where children can’t sense that, but they as well, never forget what happened to them, which also makes them afraid of other people. And it’s really disgusting, that someone has to be abusive, like that!  Let’s put a stop to it now!!! Help fight, all this abuse!!!

    Carol – AARP Dog Group

    Carol is certainly right… and in order to change things we must all stand up and be heard, be their voices (or more sometimes) as the ASPCA says. Ask Marion/JOMP

    Posted: Just One More Pet

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    August 16, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal and Pet Photos, Animal Rescues, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Adoption, Pet Blog, Pet Friendship and Love, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    ‘G-Force’ movie likely to put guinea pigs atop pet list

    The Disney movie “G-Force” shows a squad of specially trained, computer-generated guinea pig spies coming to the world’s rescue. But animal activists say it may end up being real-life guinea pigs who need rescuing.

    Some guinea pig rescue groups already have posted pleas to those who might rush out to buy the furry little rodents. “I can tell you, every single rescue in the United States and abroad took a look at that movie trailer and said, ‘Oh, God, here we go,’ ” said Whitney Potsus, vice president of the Critter Connection in Durham, Conn.

    The Orange County Cavy (aka guinea pig) Haven in Costa Mesa already has posted urgent Internet pleas to parents asking them to say no when their children beg for guinea pigs, because the animals are too fragile for young children.

    It’s happened before. Some call it “101 Dalmatians syndrome,” after the live-action Disney movie that sent thousands rushing to buy the black-and-white spotted pups. When the dogs failed to act like those in the movie, families gave them up, breeders said.

    The popularity of Chihuahuas soared after the movies “Legally Blonde” and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and when Taco Bell featured a talking one in an ad campaign. Ferrets were the animal of choice after “Along Came Polly,” and guinea pigs were in demand after “Bedtime Stories.”

    In “G-Force,” Agents Juarez, Darwin and Blaster drive cars, parachute, use blowtorches, swim, talk, walk on two legs, live in tanks with mice and rats and use G- Force Guinea Pigs hamster balls, Lyn Zantow, a volunteer for the Orange County group, warns on her Web site.

    In real life, guinea pigs are noisy, eat and poop all the time, require big and clean cages, don’t swim and can be expensive to care for if they get sick, she said, adding that they should be kept out of the hands of young children.

    “We can only hope … parents will all do their research before bringing any critters home. Otherwise, when the novelty wears off, rescues everywhere are going to have their hands full with surrenders,” Potsus said.

    A guinea pig can scare or startle easily, and if a child doesn’t have a good hold, it will run off. “Guinea pigs can’t jump,” said Fenella Fpeece, president of Wee Companions Small Animal Adoption in San Diego. A fall, even from a sofa, will paralyze them, break their backs and then “they are probably as good as dead.”

    She is worried about the big plastic balls used in the movie and sold in pet stores. They are made for hamsters and mice, she said. “Guinea pigs don’t have flexible backs and they don’t go in wheels.”

    They also have delicate digestive systems. “Kids get distracted. If you forget to feed it, it’s done. Its little life is over,” Fpeece said.

    She already has been asked if she has a guinea pig that looks like one of the agents. And ads on Craigslist are offering ” ‘G-Force’ type guinea pigs. I am really worried,” she said.

    Activists say there are several waves of worry ahead: during the movie’s run in theaters, when it comes out on DVD and when the novelty wears off.

    About 795,000 homes have guinea pigs as pets, according to the American Pet Products Association, based in Greenwich, Conn. Volunteers from most guinea pig rescue groups have beefed up public education programs in an effort to prevent impulse buys, said Susan Lee, director and CEO of the Costa Mesa group.

    Jan Davidson, founder of Deerbrook Guinea Pig and Rabbit Haven in Oakhurst, said other rescue workers have been asking her what to do. One said she was afraid to post new adoption notices because “it is hard enough to find good homes for them as it is.”

    Disney is aware of the power of the movies and works to promote a strong pet responsibility message, a studio spokeswoman said. For “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” Disney made sure most of the animals in the movie came from shelters and each was adopted when the movie was over.

    For “G-Force,” a statement is posted on the movie’s Web site and on other promotional materials, advising viewers to be responsible and research any pet “to make sure that it is suitable for your particular situation” and consider adopting from a shelter.

    Potsus, who has four guinea pigs, hopes parents will fudge a little to protect the animals.

    “We hope parents will use money or time as an excuse,” she said. “We like to think the bad economy would cut down on some impulsive decisions.”

    Instead of delicate animals who can’t talk, shoot or travel through space, Davidson suggested an alternative for children who want to re-enact stunts with the movie’s stars: guinea pigs of the stuffed or plastic variety.

    By Sue Manning – Associated Press

    Posted: 07/31/2009 12:00:00 AM PDT

    Updated: 07/31/2009 02:36:45 PM PDT

    Posted:  Just One More Pet

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    August 1, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

    Yo Quiero Taco Bell

    GidgetGidget, the Chihuahua best known for her Taco Bell ad campaign, died from a stroke the other night at age 15, People.com reported. “She made so many people happy,” said Gidget’s trainer Sue Chipperton .

    The mostly retired actor lived out her days laying in the sun. “I like to joke that it’s like looking after a plant,” said Chipperton. “Gidget always knew where the camera was.”

    Gidget also starred in Legally Blonde II: Red, White and Blue in the role of Bruiser’s mom and started a clamoring for purse size Chihuahua’s.

    After being released from mascot duties by Taco Bell, Gidget was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where she was allowed a choice of a Taco Bell Chalupa or some KFC chicken.  She chose the chicken.

    According to Gidget’s trainer, Sue Chipperton, the dog spent her retirement days laying in the sun, which is what she did on her last day.  Gidget was with Chipperton watching television when she began making strange noises and suffered a stroke.  The dog “had a good day and was running around as normal,” said her owner, Karen McElhatton.  “We’re happy that she was very well off right until the end.”

    Watch ¡Yo quiero Taco Bell! commercial below.

    The advertising catch-phrase for the Taco Bell commercial was “¡Yo quiero Taco Bell!” (”I want Taco Bell!”). The voiceover work for these commercials was provided by voice actor Carlos Alazraqui.

    Posted:  Just One More Pet

    July 23, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Just One More Pet, Pet Events | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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