Bay Area Shelters Unite for “The Great Chihuahua Challenge” in Celebration of Third Annual Chihuahua Palooza

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — The East Bay SPCA and eleven Bay Area animal shelters and rescue groups are banding together to meet “The Great Chihuahua Challenge” by spaying or neutering nearly 500 Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes during the month of May.

East Bay SPCA’s annual promotion "Chihuahua Palooza" is expanding this year to incorporate The Great Chihuahua Challenge, highlighting the importance of spaying/neutering to curb the Chihuahua overpopulation problem the Bay Area has been facing for the past several years.

East Bay SPCA President and CEO Allison Lindquist attributes part of Chihuahua overpopulation to the dog’s popularity in movies like “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”, “Legally Blonde”, and advertisements that prominently feature Chihuahuas. “All that media exposure, coupled with pictures of celebrities carrying their Chihuahuas, transformed the breed into trendy must-have dogs,” she explains. Lindquist adds, "Breeders capitalized on the Chihuahuas' popularity and began selling the tiny dogs, but they bred too many. Then backyard breeders jumped on board and the number of dogs exceeded public demand."

“Even though we don’t see the breed as much today in popular media, the effects of over breeding can last for decades. These dogs still represent nearly half of all dogs coming in to Bay Area animal shelters,” explains Lindquist.

“Chihuahuas are small, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be spayed or neutered; visit a veterinarian for health check-ups, or attend classes and be socialized like other dogs,” adds East Bay SPCA Vice President of Operations Melissa Duford, CAWA. “It’s unfortunate, but people often drop Chihuahuas off at shelters because the dog turned out to be a bigger responsibility than they thought.”

Chihuahua Palooza and The Great Chihuahua Challenge aim to put the spotlight on this small but prevalent breed in an effort to reduce overpopulation through spay/neuter and adoption programs.

Residents of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties can take advantage of $20 spay/neuter surgeries for Chihuahuas/Chihuahua mixes between May 6-10, 2013 by registering at or calling 510-639-7387. All surgeries take place at our Oakland Surgery Center located at 410 Hegenberger Road, Oakland. Dogs must be under 15 pounds and under 7 years of age. Offer includes $20 spay/neuter surgery, rabies and distemper vaccines. A discounted $10 microchip will also be available.

Other Bay Area shelters offering Chihuahua spay/neuter and/or adoption specials include:

Berkeley Animal Services Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society Hayward Animal Services Humane Society Silicon Valley Marin Humane Society Oakland Animal Services Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA San Francisco SPCA San Jose Animal Care Center Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation

About East Bay SPCA The East Bay SPCA is a nonprofit organization committed to the welfare of cats and dogs in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. We strive to eliminate animal cruelty, neglect and overpopulation by providing programs and education that support people and companion animals. More information about EBSPCA can be found at or by calling 510-569-0702.


Laura Fulda
East Bay SPCA

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