The Chihuahua has had a good run. For a large portion of the last two decades, while the toy dog was busy selling tacos and burritos for a fast food chain, it seemed the breed was popping up in pop culture and community dog parks alike. But as conventional wisdom tells us, every dog has its day.
Lately, San Francisco animal shelters and rescue groups are reporting a notable increase in the number of Chihuahuas that are being abandoned by their owners, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Some estimates suggest that up to one third of the dogs held in city shelters are all or part Chihuahua. According to local officials, the breed could make up half of all impounded dogs within months if the alarming trend continues.
"All the shelters in California are seeing an upswing in Chihuahua impounds," Deb Campbell, a spokeswoman for San Francisco’s animal care and control department, told the news source.
She added, "We call it the Paris Hilton syndrome."
The Chihuahua exodus, however, seems to be contained to California. A total of twenty-five dogs recently flown to New Hampshire by animal service agencies immediately found homes, and adoption centers in New York have reported zero Chihuahuas being impounded.
The U.S. Humane Society estimates that 6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters each year.