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Championing the Chihuahuas

Ben Godar

Officials with Burbank-based Chihuahua Rescue expect to learn

Thursday if a Los Angeles County judge will allow the agency to place

into foster homes 174 dogs that would otherwise be destroyed.


The dogs were seized in November from the Acton home of a breeder

who allegedly neglected the animals, resulting in inbreeding and

antisocial behavior. The Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control

Department, which is housing the dogs at its facility in Baldwin


Park, has recommended to a judge that they be destroyed.

“They deserve to live just like all other dogs out there,” said

Susan Marlowe, a Chihuahua Rescue volunteer.

At Thursday’s hearing, officials from Chihuahua Rescue will ask

the judge to allow them to place the dogs into homes with individuals

trained to rehabilitate antisocial canines. Officials said the group

has identified foster homes throughout the country for all of the

animals, but none would be housed in the organization’s Burbank


shelter. Alaska Airlines has offered discounted rates for transport

of the dogs, as has Sky Ark Inc., which specializes in transporting

rescued animals, they added.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control

Department could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but have said

the dogs are aggressive and have formed feral packs.

Chihuahua Rescue founder Kimi Peck said the dogs’ aggressive

behavior will be erased when they are placed with individuals skilled


at socializing abused animals.

“I’ve been rescuing dogs for years, and most of them were deemed

unadaptable,” she said. “Every single dog in this lot can be


The local nonprofit agency’s efforts to save the Chihuahuas has

also garnered the attention of local and national media, including

MSNBC and the New York Post. When some of those reports incorrectly

identified the Burbank Animal Shelter as the agency involved, shelter

officials said they were inundated with several hundred calls about

the dogs.

A candlelight vigil for the Chihuahuas will be at 8 tonight in

front of the Chihuahua Rescue kennel at 421 N. Moss St. Peck said

those in attendance will walk along Magnolia Boulevard and light a

candle for each of the dogs.