Shelter combats Chihuahua overpopulation

In an effort to cut down on overpopulation, the Pasadena Humane Society has started offering free spay and neuter surgeries for Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes.

The program, which started Jan. 1, applies to Chihuahuas up to 15 pounds for residents of the shelter's service cities, including Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, La Cañada Flintridge and Glendale.

Owners can also request their dog be micro-chipped at no additional charge, according to an announcement today from the shelter.

Shelter spokeswoman Ricky Whitman has said Chihuahua and pit bull breeds make up 50% of the shelter’s population — a byproduct that animal advocates tie to media coverage, myths and pop culture.

In order to reduce the local Chihuahua population, the Pasadena Humane Society has flown more than 200 of the animals to shelters in Richmond, Va., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. since June 2010.

In a statement, Whitman said the overpopulation issue “has been an ongoing trend for quite some time now.”

“We’re striving to help the animals and their owners through our public clinic,” she said. “This is a wonderful resource we hope pet owners will use.”

For more information on the spay and neuter program, visit the shelter's website,

Pets must be a minimum of two months old and weigh at least 2 pounds to have surgery. Appointments are required, and can be made by calling (626) 792-7151 Ext. 138.

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