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
Over 100 dogs and other animals have been rescued from an alleged puppy mill in Johnson County, Arkansas.
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
(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.
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)
What are the causes and cures of stool eating?
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.
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
Meet 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
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
15th Annual DAWG Walk & Pet Faire raised more than $12K for a great cause
When Andrea Horikawa rescued Vinny more than a year ago, the 3-year-old Chihuahua mix had “aggression” issues. The dog had been abandoned and abused. On Saturday, remnants of Vinny’s troubled past were no where to been seen as he wowed the crowd with his ability to walk backwards, do flips and speak in different tones on cue.
“It has taken a lot of work, but he is doing much better now,” Horikawa said before Vinny showed off his talents in the “Best K9 Trickster” contest.
The duo joined several others who gathered for the 15th Annual DAWG Walk & Pet Faire at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center at the Village Green.
The event grossed $12,200, said Sharon Cody, president of DAWG, the Mission Viejo shelter’s nonprofit that raises funds for animals’ medical procedures. Proceeds will benefit the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center at 28095 Hillcrest.
The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center partnered with Dedicated Animal Welfare Group (DAWG) to host the fun-filled family event that included an impressive display of K9 Athletes in Action, pet contests, animal rescues, booths, entertainment, pet and wildlife exhibits and much more. The morning began with the singing of the National Anthem followed by a pristine 2-mile walk along Oso Creek Trail.
Dogs of all ages, breeds, shapes and sizes – many who had been adopted from the animal shelter – blanketed the park. Several pet owners spent the morning introducing their furry family members to new canine friends.
“I am excited to be here … this is a beautiful venue and a wonderful cause,” said Cindy Russell, who brought her Frisbee-loving dog, Cisco, along for some fun.
Posted: Just One More Pet